By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director
Woodland Hills Church
This season is prime making-memories time. No doubt, your family has some Christmas traditions of its own this season, but if you’re looking to add some new ideas this year, here are some fun and creative suggestions that might just become new traditions for your family for years to come!
- If your kids have a flair for the dramatic, why not have them reenact the Christmas narrative! Costumes and props can easily be made from things found around the house. You could even get your extended family or friends involved and do a whole production in your living room!
- Draw it out! Grab some large paper to create a mural of the Christmas story together to hang on the wall or create a book by stapling papers together and working as a family to write out the story and draw the pictures.
- Many families have a tradition of baking cookies and giving them away to family and friends, but what if you handed them out to people serving in our community such as police officers, firefighters, librarians, janitors, and even trash and recycling collectors instead? Encourage your kids to think about people who might be overlooked who play an important role in our lives.
- Visit a nursing/assisted living home. Encourage your kids to make cards to hand out or have them work on singing some Christmas carols together. It’s probably a good idea to talk with your children beforehand about things they may see that might confuse them or even make them feel a bit uncomfortable, such as a resident who doesn’t respond to their greeting or why so many are in wheelchairs.
- Reading the Christmas story together as a family is a tradition for many, and one fun version to use is The Jesus Storybook Bible. With beautiful illustrations and kid-friendly wording, you can celebrate the story’s message together and talk about the incredible love of God shown through the birth of Jesus. It’s told in three separate stories (four if you include the story just beforehand) that could be read in the nights leading up to Christmas.
- Write your own Christmas carols! Work together to compose your own Christmas songs that celebrate the birth of Christ. You could reword a familiar Christmas tune or even create your own original song!
- If you have upper elementary children, you might want to make watching The Nativity Story (2006) a tradition. Grab some popcorn and cookies and enjoy together this compelling version of the Christmas story that could be a great springboard for conversation. (Note on content: The film is rated PG for violence. For details, check out: http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/nativitystory)
- Be secret agents of love! Christmas is a great opportunity to help your kids notice those in need around them. Encourage them to be on the lookout at school/daycare/home/with friends to see if they can spot someone who could use a little extra love this season. Then, brainstorm with your kids what that person might find helpful as a gift, and go get it or make it! You can choose to give the gift in person or, if you want to be super sneaky, you can leave the gift as an anonymous surprise!
- For some added fun as you celebrate Christmas and look to the New Year, use these coloring pages as springboards for conversation about how we can share the love of Jesus all year long. christmas-coloring-page-nativity new-years-resolutions
Christmas is a season when memories are made and remembered, when nostalgia fills our senses and recalls us to Christmases past. This year, we encourage you to take time away from the hectic holiday schedule to make some truly amazing and meaningful memories together as a family. Whatever your holiday traditions may be, make the most of them and celebrate together the reason for this season: the incredible love of God come to us through the birth of Jesus!