Helping your child put “Christ” back in Christmas

Results of an ABC News poll in July of 2002, shows that 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Yet everywhere we see the effects of the 17% of the population who do not believe in Christ. This year in many states and in our nation’s capital a debate raged, about what to call a Christmas tree. To me the answer was simple a Christmas tree. Yet in many areas of the country the name has been changed to Holiday tree. How can we teach our children the true meaning of Christmas when the world is trying to take it out?

Explain the symbols
As parents we can take time to explain to our children why we celebrate Christmas and the significance of Christ’s birth. Explain what the symbols are that we use to celebrate Christmas. These can easily be found by doing a search on the internet.

Establish Traditions
Every year my mother would set out a small manger. Every time we did something nice for someone else in the family we would put a piece of straw in the manger. The goal was to fill the manger for the Christ child by Christmas. It really brought the meaning of the season into our celebration.
Some families read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible, Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning before opening any presents.
Each person could choose a gift that they want to give to Christ (i.e. share toys, be kinder to spouse, give service), write it down, and put it in a box. This box could be opened Christmas morning. Or each member of the family could write kind things about each other and then open the box and share them Christmas morning.

Provide Service
Service is a great way to teach children about Christ, after all that is how He spent His life. Have your children choose a toy to give to a needy child. Make cookies and give to your neighbors. Volunteer at a local shelter. Sing carols at a retirement center.

If we work to teach our children the true meaning of Christmas then no one can take the “Christ” out of Christmas for them.

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About Teresa McEntire

Teresa McEntire grew up in Utah the oldest of four children. She currently lives in Kuna, Idaho, near Boise. She and her husband Gene have been married for almost ten years. She has three children Tyler, age six, Alysta, four, and Kelsey, two. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves to scrapbook, read, and of course write. Spending time with her family, including extended family, is a priority. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and currently works with the young women. Teresa has a degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University and taught 6th grade before her son was born. She also ran an own in-home daycare for three years. She currently writes educational materials as well as blogs for Families.com. Although her formal education consisted of a variety of child development classes she has found that nothing teaches you better than the real thing. She is constantly learning as her children grow and enjoys sharing that knowledge with her readers.