Children add life and excitement to Christmas whether they are one’s own offspring, grandchildren or nephews and nieces. Adults can enhance Christmas and make it more meaningful to children by including them in Christmas festivities and giving them opportunities to give to others.
Ways to Celebrate Christmas With Children
Christmas is a many-faceted celebration with a mixture of traditions and beliefs from around the world. Here are 8 fun ways to help children gain a rounded view of Christmas and what it involves:
- The Christian story of Christmas is often forgotten in the bustle of the season. Make an effort to take children to see a nativity play at a local church or to see a nativity display in a park. Go through the story with them using a story book or read it from Matthew 2 and Luke 2 in the Bible.
- Santa Claus is also known as Father Christmas in parts of the world. Although he supposedly lives at the North Pole, he is found in department stores and malls around the world in December. Visiting Santa in his grotto can be a magical experience for a child and adds to the mystique of Christmas. Choose a grotto with elves and fairies and special effects to make this a visit to remember.
- Baking cookies is a favourite Christmas activity for most children. Allow them to help measure the ingredients and mix them into dough. Use Christmas cookie cutters with shapes such as Christmas trees, stars and angels.
- Many people clean out children’s toy boxes before Christmas and donate old toys to charity. Take this one step further and allow children to choose a new toy from a store and wrap it for a less fortunate child. Another idea is to look at the website of a mission organisation where practical gifts such as seeds, chickens, goats and fresh water can be given to people in developing nations. Allow the child to choose what to give and make the donation in their name.
- Children love to be involved in decorating the home, garden and tree. Involve them in the process and suggest they make a few decorations of their own. Give these decorations pride of place on the tree.
- Christmas carols are played incessantly over the festive season and children will soon become familiar with them. Take them along to a carols by candlelight evening where they will enjoy the singing and the flickering lights of the candles.
- Christmas cards remain popular and for those pushed for time, there are E-cards. Allow children to help with choosing cards and suggest they send some to their own friends. Help with the writing if necessary.
- Christmas gifts are important to children. Discuss gift choices with them and if appropriate, help them write to Santa. To make gift opening more fun, wrap them in two or three layers of paper and tuck a joke or riddle in between the wrap.
Family Time at Christmas
Christmas is a family time and children thrive on the excitement of the season. Allow them to be involved with the preparation and planning for Christmas and make an effort to take them to special functions such as nativity plays and carols by candlelight. These will create special memories for them to look back on in years to come.