Life lessons in Christmas activities help create family memories and teach children values.

{Post by Lisa Brown}

Life Lesson: Viewing Christmas Lights

Viewing Christmas lights is one of our family’s favorite activities to partake in during the Holidays. I love bundling up in warm clothes with a big hot mug of flavored peppermint coffee.  I’m moved by each little light that twinkles so bright and the delightful sighs my children express.  

Christmas lights are so very magical no matter what age you are.  

When we are driving in the car my children always ask for the long route home so they can take in the lights and fun decorations.  I enjoy watching their eyes sparkle as they anticipate what sight they will see when we turn a corner.  

Outings to parks with Christmas light celebrations is a joy to behold. In Denver we visit the zoo, old country time museums, and botanical gardens. 

In the midst of fun there is always something new to learn.  There are Christmas songs to be sung by Christmas Carolers who generously greet us by open fire.  While we listen and meditate on their words, we warm up our tired feet, roast marshmallows, sip our hot chocolate and share a bag of toffee covered nuts.

We Are Lights for Jesus

As we walk through winter wonderlands and dance under thousands of twinkling lights, I am always inspired to share with my children that we are real little lights.  

We have Jesus living in us and He makes us shine.  Christmas lights at the Brown house are a reminder that we are God’s children and we are here on earth to shine the love of Jesus to others. 

While we are driving around town looking all around at lights or walking up or down sidewalks, we share ideas about how we can be a light to our friends, family, or strangers. 

Life lessons in Christmas activities help create family memories and teach children values.

Every year we come up with something new like baking cookies for our neighbors, collecting canned food for the poor, or inviting friends over for a Christmas gathering!   It’s really one simple question for Mom or Dad to ask, “How can you share the love of Jesus with others.”  

Our Christian faith calls us to show love by serving those who are in need. Children learn to serve and care for others when they are challenged to do something kind and see our example. 

Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we all found somebody to love on? It’s in our actions that we help others feel loved and cared for.  Kids will learn to do the same when they see us doing it! 

Lesson About Compassion and Giving

I remember when I was growing up that I would go with different choirs to the nursing homes and sing Christmas carols. It has been fun watching my two kids do the same. 

One of the times we visited a nursing home that was having a craft fair.  The residence made Christmas items for families, friends, and visitors to purchase.  My daughter at age seven loved the handmade items and her excitement brought joy to the residents in their little shop.  The elderly enjoy company. Kids learn so much from interacting with them. 

Elders have great stories to share, talents to teach, ideas to present, and love to give. 

Life lessons in Christmas activities help create family memories and teach children values.

Not all widows are in nursing homes and they need visitors too.  My mom is a widow and my kids just adore their Grandma.  One year my kids made a gingerbread house and we gave it to her as a decoration.  

It was hard for them to do this because they wanted to eat their Gingerbread house.  I encouraged them to share it with Grandma and to put their desire to the side. 

They chose to give it to their Grandma for a decoration. Kids learn to think of others when we challenge them to do things like this.  It’s added pressure that builds healthy character.   

Lessons About Identity

My eight-year-old daughter has always been fascinated with babies. Everywhere we go she notices them and literally transforms into a little momma bear.  She also has a special love for our family Christmas Manger. 

When she was younger, I got her the Fisher Price nativity scene. When she got a bit older, I gave her one that was more real looking.  She likes to decorate her room for Christmas with baby Jesus in the manger! 

It’s adorable and a great reminder of the reason we celebrate Christmas!! 

Every one of us is a treasure with a story to share.  I made ornaments with my children’s baby pictures when they were little.   

My daughter loves looking at her baby pictures and asking me to tell her stories about when she was a baby. Many times she asks me about when I was little.  She likes my plaster hand print that I made when I was five.   

One day she wanted to know if I had baby dolls when I was her age. It dawned on me that I still had my baby doll from my childhood memory box. My parents gave her to me for Christmas when I was around eight like my daughter.

My baby doll has always been a special treasure to me and I loved playing mommy growing up- just like my daughter does now. 

Motherhood is such a special gift and little girls know it!  

Life lessons in Christmas activities help create family memories and teach children values.

I decided to give my childhood doll to my daughter. I gathered all of my daughter’s baby clothes, baby toys, blankets and put them in a pretty decorated box.   

When she received this gift of love, she was thrilled!  She spent hours hanging up her own baby clothes and dressing her new doll.  For months now, she still cares for this doll and keeps her baby clothes neat and tidy.  

Lesson About Keeping Jesus in Christmas

When I was growing up my mom would make a Birthday cake for Jesus.  She baked a cake for her Sunday School Class, Grand-Children, and Christmas family get-togethers! 

Now my husband and I carry on this tradition with our kids.  We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus

My son asked me one time, “If it’s Jesus’ birthday, why don’t we give Him gifts? Why do we get the gifts?”   

Great question coming from a younger child.  We told him this: “When we give gifts to each other, this makes Jesus happy. He likes to see the joy on our faces.  We celebrate His birth by giving to one another!”

Christmas Tree Decoration and Family Time

Christmas tree decorating is a time for our family to give to Jesus.  While we partake in this delightful activity, we listen to inspirational Christian Christmas music to help us focus on who Jesus is to us.  

At the top of our tree sits a bright shining star that is symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Every year we share the story of the Three Kings bearing gifts for baby Jesus and how the bright star led the way. 

When we turn our tree lights on at night, we gather for family time, we pray for peace on earth, read a story, and talk about the things Jesus has done for us. 

Lights remind us that with Jesus we have hope. It’s a wonderful time to express thankfulness! 

Lesson About Money and Buying Gifts: Christmas Shopping

Kids really don’t understand how spending money works. They think you just give the lady at the register a blue card and she will put the items in a bag.  I decided it was time to teach my kids about shopping when my daughter demanded the lady at the register give money back to her after she paid for her item.   It was so sad. 

I had the kids play store at our home while they were on Christmas break.  I used to sell jewelry and I brought all my things out. My daughter turned her bedroom into a store.  

My son turned his room into a book store.  We left it up for a few days and we practiced counting, learning about money, reading price tags, and managing the care of a store. 

Now they know what it’s all about when they buy things at the store.  

They got pretty good at wrapping gifts too because they practiced wrapping items up in their stores for their pretend customers. 

We all know that money doesn’t grow from trees and gifts don’t really come down the chimney. Even though many of us play this game with our kids, parents need to teach their kids about money and being generous.  

This is a fun way to do this with young kids. With older kids, it is wise to encourage them to earn money by doing things around the house. 

Have fun this year! Keep Christ in the season, be generous, and enjoy all the life lessons that can be taught through simple Christmas family activities with your family! 

Lisa Brown is an aspiring writer and owner of The Family Roadmap Blog and a Parent Coach at the National Center Of Biblical Parenting. She has a 10-yr. old son, a 7-yr. old daughter, and has been married to her husband for 12 yrs.  Prior to marriage, she worked over 20 yrs. enriching the lives of hundreds of children and families. Lisa has a Bachelors in Social Work and Early Childhood Education. To meet with Lisa about a parent concern or if you would like for Lisa to write an article or blog post, you can contact Lisa here. 

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