Teaching Preschoolers the Meaning of Christmas

One of my goals this holiday season was to invent, find, and create numerous ways to teach my boys (ages 4 & 2) the real Christmas story.  Here are some of the ideas we came up with.

  1. We watched the Nativity Story movie together as a family and discuss the events.  I did not show the scenes of Herod and the infanticide after Jesus’ birth.
  2. We read the Christmas story in their kids’ Bibles nearly every night of December.  So much so, our 4 year old began asking for David and Jonah stories.
  3. We attended Christmas eve worship together as a family and talked about the songs, the candles, and the story.
  4. We made “Happy Birthday Jesus” cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
  5. We watched all our videos with a Christian Christmas message – Veggie Tales, Charlie Brown Christmas, Really Woolly, and Hermie & Friends.
  6. We made chocolate chip cookies to give to our neighbors.  We taught the boys that giving gifts to others show we love them.
  7. We played with our toy nativity scene and retold the story over and over.
  8. Each night during our bed routine, we sang Away in the Manager and Silent Night.  (We sang it so much the boys knew the words at the Christmas eve service).
  9. We listened exclusively to Christ-centered Christmas CD’s.  We like 2 particular CD’s: WOW Christmas and church Christmas carols.

These are just a few ideas we have began to set up as traditions in our home.

What about Santa?

We really don’t talk about Santa in our house.  Not that we are afraid of the tradition, but we are cautious of deceiving our children.  They both know about Santa from preschool and friends, but we do not emphasize him in our house. We do have a book telling the story of St. Nicholas, Bishop in Turkey, who gave presents to others in remembrance of the gift God gave in Jesus.

We firmly believe in our post-Christian, postmodern culture we have to be proactive in establishing Christian traditions and thinking in our children.  We can’t leave it to our church (which is a great one) or to anyone else.  It is our task and our responsibility to train up our children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord.

Merry Christmas!

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About shanegarrison
I am a married, 30-something living in central KY. I serve as an associate professor of Educational Ministries at Campbellsville University.

One Response to Teaching Preschoolers the Meaning of Christmas

  1. Dave Collie says:

    Thanks for teaching your children the truths of scripture and how it is a lifestyle and not a once a week relationship with Jesus. I wish and pray that more pearnts would take your vision and make it their own. I pray that families are taking a proactive step in teaching their children the truths of scripture through their everyday journeys.

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