Oh, what joy Christmas brings! 
The Season is filled with glittering tinsel, carols ringing in the air and the beautifully wrapped presents under Christmas trees. For many children, it is a time in the year when they look forward to a special gift from Mum and Dad, going to see a pantomime, and enjoying chocolates from the tombola stall at the school Christmas fair!  However, in the midst of all the excitement, parents and concerned adults may struggle to teach their children what really matters at Christmas. ‘How should I address this?’ you may ask.

Tell them the Nativity story

For most children, Christmas is all about presents, Christmas trees and Santa. So why not sit down after dinner and retell the nativity story. Be fun and creative in telling the story.  Purchase nativity crafts or figures to help bring the story to life. You can also sing Christmas carols to add some flavour to the story telling. Help the children to understand the reason why God needed to come down as man to redeem us. This will help them to appreciate the reason why we celebrate this season with so much joy as Christians. Christmas really is not about Santa after all.

Teach them about love and community
Christ’s birth demonstrates God’s enduring love towards us. Just as God gave Himself to us, we too must love and give to one another and to people around us. Encourage your child to give some of their pocket money to those in need. You can help them choose a charity to donate to. It does not matter how small this donation is, because a little always goes a long way in helping someone in need. You can also take them out to help with community projects.

Teach them to be thankful          
Christmas is a time to remind our children to be thankful for all that God has done for your family throughout the year. You can do this by asking your child to say one thing they are truly thankful about. You may be surprised at how many things they come up with. Ask or help them to write a thank you letter to God for all that he has done.

Teach them about faith through God’s Word
Use the Bible to teach them about Christ’s birth and how God’s Word and promises always come true. This will build their faith in God. Research old testament prophecies which foretold the birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14) and the fulfilment of such prophesies in the New Testament (John 1:14)

Even if we enjoy the trimmings of Christmas season, we must not allow our children to be trapped by the secular world-view of Christmas. From their early ages, we must teach them what really matters at Christmas. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 “train up your child in the way he will go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

By Bessy Eigbefoh

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