Last year, I began researching ways I could teach my preschool aged girls about the true meaning of holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, keeping the glory and focus on Christ, and striving to move away from the secular commercialism that tends to drown Him out during this season.
I found that celebrating Advent is one way to build up an eager, Christ-focused expectation during Christmastime, but since I was ill-prepared and had never really experienced Advent, it didn’t go the way I envisioned last year.
So this year, I ordered this book:
It is a colorful, hardback book with a short reading and family activity for each day (24 days) leading up to Christmas. This evening, we will read the first page together after dinner. It tells how the angel Gabriel came to Mary and announced that she would have a baby boy, and name him Jesus. The activity is to draw or color an angel to remind us of this important event leading up to Christ’s birth.
So, I found a coloring page on the internet, scaled it down, and will use it tonight for the girls to color. I also prepared some blue card stock I had on-hand. I cut out squares, embellished the corners with special scissors, and punched a hole at the top, through which I weaved a piece of red yarn. After the girls color their angels, we will cut them out, and they can glue the angel on the blue card stock, and hang their angel ornament on the tree.
During our reading and prayer time after dinner tonight, we will also light the first Advent candle. Instead of having an Advent wreath, I just bought candlesticks and stuck them down in a planter I already had, and then stuffed some plastic greenery around them to make it festive. (There are egg-carton cups placed upside down in each planter, holding the candle in place. The first attempt – hot-glueing – didn’t work so well!! )
Teaching your children the true meaning of Christmas doesn’t require a lot of supplies or effort. It just takes a little planning ahead, and little quality time.