Have you ever heard the song that goes, Jesus and others and you – What a wonderful way to spell JOY! ?
That is the theme for our family this Christmas. My oldest is five, so my kids are still learning what Christmas is all about. I wanted to do something that would help impress on the minds of our kids that Christmas is not all about getting presents. Christmas is focusing on the fact Christ came to give his life for us.
He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
I've seen a lot of activities posted around the internet that are designed to help families focus on Christ at Christmas and I appreciate the bloggers and website owners who make those ideas available.
The problem was that I could not find something that was simple.
Around here, if it's not simple, it's stressful. Stressful is not the mood I'm going for during the Christmas season.
So, I ended up making up my own idea, and it's perfect for my young children.
We are making a paper chain out of Christmas scrapbook paper and adding two links to it every night before bed (one for each child who understands what is going on.)
We have talked about how Christ came to serve others, and we are thinking of ways that we can be like Christ and serve others.
I am letting them choose their own ideas by themselves so that their acts of service will come from their hearts.
So far our paper chain contains things like “sharing my toys with my brother/sister” and “helping Mommy clean with a happy heart.” I'm sure there will be some bigger things that we decide to do like visiting someone in the nursing home or baking something for the neighbors, but it's really nice not to have the stress of trying to do something time-consuming every day for a month.
I am loving this! It's just what our family needed. It only takes about 5 minutes every evening, yet we are reminded all throughout the day to follow Christ's example by serving others. I have been hearing the kids catch themselves and each other in the act of service. “Oh, Mommy! I just swept the floor for you without complaining! That was serving others!” It is such a blessing to me to hear them get excited about serving others. They spend time planning out what they're going to put on their link of the paper chain each night, and they have been trying to practice those things throughout the day.
What is your family doing to keep your focus on Christ this Christmas season? I'd love to hear your ideas!