During this time of year we spend many hours shopping, decorating, baking, planning and checking off long to do lists which can often lead us to loose focus on the true meaning of the season. This year why not be intentional about placing focus back on Jesus as the center of Christmas with one of these fun family ideas that allow you an opportunity to teach your kids the meaning of Christmas.
Each year I would see beautiful gingerbread activity kits to make with my children and while I thought that would be a fun idea, I wanted something of more spiritual substance to do with the kids so I decided to come up with an idea of my own. I thought we could make an edible nativity instead, and that is what we have done over the many years and it is still a family favorite! Click her eto see additional how to instructions and pictures of Jolene’s Every Gingerbread knee shall bow idea
in Acts 20:35 Jesus teaches that it is more blessed to give than to receive. What fun it is to give a gift of service to someone who is not expecting it with this idea a Surprise Service demonstrating Christ like service of giving with no expectations of getting anything in return.
It is simple to begin in your home – Place the names of family members into a basket or container and have each person draw one name. Then explain that during the month of December we are going to give surprise gifts of service to that person. You can also choose to swap names each week.
Ideas of service can be anything from doing a chore for that person or helping them with a project.
Jesus taught us to serve by washing the disciples feet. He also taught us that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 (NIV) The idea of giving an unexpected gift of service to members of your family is to demonstrate Christ-like love and service. You might consider giving a back rub to your spouse, running an errand for your brother, or cleaning out a closet for your mother. Make it personal and meaningful and watch the blessings multiply.
The Jesse Tree is a symbol to represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. The Jesse tree daily devotional It tells the story of God’s salvation plan, beginning with creation all the way to to the coming of the Messiah. The name Jesse Tree comes is from:
Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (NIV)
After the devotion is read a homemade ornament is added to the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree can be a small live or artificial tree you display in your home.
You can also purchase The Jesse Tree story and kits from Amazon below:
This tradition can be done as a 25 day countdown or cut down to a 12 day , 10 day or whatever number of days works for your family
Many years ago we started the tradition of the Blessing Box in our home to place focus back on the true meaning of the season. Each night as our countdown advent we would read a scripture verse and talk about a biblical principal with our children then present them each with a token to remind them of the verse.
I recently came across a similar idea called the Advent Boxes from I Can Teach My Child – she has created a list of verses and biblical principles that you can download as well as tags for each advent box to begin this tradition in your home counting down the days till Christmas bringing the focus back to the true meaning of the season with your kids.
Download the Advent Boxes Printable here. from I Can Teach My Child.
Download the Advent Box Labels here. use the Avery return address mailing labels (30 per page) and then cut them in half.
Countdown to Christmas with a daily scripture paper chain advent. Each day read a scripture together as a family as you countdown the days by using these free printables Scripture strips from Speel Out Loud. Each printable strip has a scripture and a countdown number to help you create your own paper chain scripture countdown.
Click here to get your free printable scripture paper china strips.