Recently, I met an amazing blogger who also happens to live pretty close to me. Cintia, at SimplyCintia.com shares so much of her faith, family and tips for physical wellness through her blog. I was thrilled to join her one morning recently to talk about teaching our kids the reason for the season at Christmas in relation to her theme of Simplifying Christmas.
The first question she asked was “What are your top 3 tips for parents to help children know that Christmas is about Christ?” Teaching your children the “Reason for the Season” is a hugely important topic in this time of consumerism and Santa.
The season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and is a time to prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ Child, Jesus. By focusing on Advent as a season before delving into Christmas, it helps us slow down a bit and meditate on the true reason for the season. Spend time watching for God moving in your life by praying, being quiet and still. Sometimes it can be as little as five minutes, or the time it takes for a red light to change to green. Devoting conscious time to prayer, no matter how small, is the important thing. A simple way to celebrate Advent with your family is to light an Advent wreath on Sunday, read scripture and offer prayers. There are many aids available online and Advent books, such as “O Radiant Dawn” by Lisa Hendey and “Welcome Baby Jesus” by Sarah Reinhard that can lead you through family activities around the Advent wreath.
Christ was born in a manger as a human being out of God’s abundant love for us. Intentionally celebrate Christ’s Love during Christmas time. It can be done through charitable giving, toy drives, food drives and personal interaction. Write a letter to a loved one, meet a friend for coffee, prepare a meal for someone, help a neighbor or simply be present to a friend or family member in need. Model God’s love for us to your children by joyfully loving others this time of year.
The season of Christmas actually begins with the birth of Christ and runs for 12 days, ending with Epiphany, the day the wise men came to visit baby Jesus. The scripture readings of the church during Christmas are powerful and a wonderful reminder of how much God loves the world. Even though society ends Christmas on December 26th, our family celebrates the season of Christmas by leaving up our tree and decorations until Epiphany. Sitting in the dark looking at the glowing star on the tree after the New Year has begun helps us remember that Christ’s birth is the light in the darkness for humanity.
During the interview, we also discussed how parents can simplify Christmas to focus on growing their own faith this Christmas season. As someone who often feels overwhelmed this time of year, I did have a couple of very practical, “easy” tips for growing your own faith this Advent / Christmas season. Head over to SimplyCintia.com to listen to the full Simplify Christmas: Faith interview for those practical faith tips and to hear about our family faith traditions at Christmas.
How do you simplify Christmas in your family to focus on the Reason for the Season?