1. Talk about Jesus early and often.
Even at the youngest ages, talk about Jesus as you go about your day and especially as you participate in Christmas activities and celebrations with your child (Deuteronomy 6:7).
2. The nativity.
Using a realistic nativity set, read Luke 2:1-20 and talk about the story of Jesus’ birth. You could discuss the events that happened, the people involved, and how they might have felt. (Note: According to Scripture, the “wise men” did not show up until after the birth of Jesus. Use this as a teaching point with your nativity set: Matthew 2:1–12.)
3. Watch the nativity story movie.
For older children and teens, this can be a great family movie night. Follow up with discussion on the story and how the movie depiction might differ from the Biblical account.
4. Focus on giving.
Find ways like the Christmas Project, Operation Christmas Child, or Salvation Army Angel Tree to serve others in the community.
5. Prayer and presents.
As you are buying or wrapping gifts for others—pray for the receivers of those gifts and that they will experience the joy of Jesus.
6. Use an Advent guide or Christmas devotional.
This will help guide daily conversations and provide meaningful talking points. Even if you don’t start on the first day of Advent, just jump in where you are and get going! Get your copy of our Advent guide or use other resources.
7. Talk about “Emmanuel.”
One of the names for Jesus is “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” Discuss how God came to be with us through the birth of His Son. Each time you see Christmas decorations, remind yourselves of this by saying “God with Us!”
8. Look up!
Go outside at night when the stars are out and look up. Talk about how the shepherds might have felt when the angels suddenly appeared to them.
9. Go on a prayer walk.
When you go out to a shopping mall or store to shop, or as you drive by or are parked in the parking lot, pray for the people who work in these places and that they would know the joy of Jesus.
10. Christmas cards are fun!
Help your children focus on others by sending out Christmas cards with a special blessing or make use of the Christmas cards your family receives in the mail. Place the cards in a basket on the dinner table and take turns drawing one out each night. Then, pray together for that person or family. You can even do this throughout the year—not just at Christmas!
11. Take note of what you see.
While you’re participating in Christmas activities or seeing lights and decorations, take opportunities to talk about the different things your child sees and what they have to do with Christmas. At times, you may even ask whether or not what they are seeing is in the Bible or not.