If you are gearing up for Christmas, like we are, then you are gung-ho ahead with everything that Christmas entails:
Angel Tree Gifts (or giving through Rescue the Forgotten)
Pictures with Santa
Driving around to look at others lights
Christmas music 24/7
The Polar Express
The Nativity Scenes
I know…The list goes on and on and on.
And in the beautiful hustle and bustle of it all, Advent gets rushed.
It does. We are human and it is a beautiful and full time of the year.
Perhaps, however, we could all slow down—a couple nights each week leading up to Christmas, and allow ourselves to spend some quality time with our family reflecting upon the Reason for the Season and do a bunch of fun stuff to celebrate Jesus!
If you are like me, then you’ll need some help.
I would like to say that I will now present to you the 24 fantabulous ideas leading up to Christmas Eve. But I won’t because I don’t have that.
What I do have for you, though, are about a dozen ideas for you to use as your family prepares for Christmas. Perhaps some of these you’ll incorporate after an evening meal and enjoy doing so! Don’t worry, though, I won’t overwhelm you with a dozen all at once. I’ll give you one at a time so that you can prepare and then come back for more.
Although our family (much like yours) is busy this time of the year—we realize that this beautiful gift given to us, Jesus, is the reason we love so abundantly—and, therefore, we try and incorporate great family celebrations leading up to his birth (and always beyond—but you know what I mean).
Let me know if you use any of the ideas I list and how they go!
***These may appear simple, but I am doing these with kids with the ages 1, 3, and 9. You can always alter or add for older kids—but the ornaments will be fun for all ages***
First up: You could talk about NAMES!
Share with your kids why your parents gave you your name? What do you know about your name (do you know its meaning)? Do you have a nickname?
Why did you name your children their names (or you can ask them why they think you gave them their names)? What are the meanings of their names? Do they have nicknames or pet names? (Remember, my son believes his name is Maxwell Loren Big Boy—so this will actually be a real memory-making time for you if you have Littles, too)
Well, kids, did you know that hundreds of years before Jesus was born, he also was spoken of in the Old Testament and given many names. Tonight we will read a couple scriptures that tell of the coming of the birth of Jesus and what names he is to be called /// given!
Read: Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6
What names are Jesus given in these scriptures?
What does Immanuel mean?
In the New Testament, an Angel of the Lord goes to Joseph and tells him what to name the baby. What is it and what does it mean?
Read: Matthew 1:21
Can you believe it? Jesus has many names just like you and me!
And just like you have a name given to you for a reason — Jesus was also given his name for a reason. Isn’t that fun to know?!
Today we get to do a really fun craft—make ornaments with ALL of the names of Jesus. We can hang them on the tree and all over the house—and even give them as gifts.
Click here to go straight to the link: Names of Jesus Printable (free) Ornaments
If your kids are older, then you may want to challenge them with finding the scripture references for the rest of the names of Jesus that we did not read through today.
As you are coloring the ornaments together, remind your children that when preparing for a baby, one of the most exciting things we get to do is think of names for our baby—and Jesus was no exception to that—his name was given with great thought to convey a great message—he was not to be any ordinary baby—but the Savior of the World.
Now that’s a gift worth celebrating!
Perhaps add glitter or special art supplies to your ornaments
Play the picnic game going around the table while crafting (My name is Brooke, and I am going on a picnic. I will bring with me a bunch of bananas)…even though you are family, it is still a fun game to play with names.
Christmas music is always a great idea while coloring
Perhaps make cookies together (sugar cookies) and they can spell out their names
Have one child choose to pray, thanking God for each person in your family BY NAME… and for the gift of Jesus and what his very name means.
Well, that’s all for today. I hope you come back for the next one: The Journey!
See you then.