In “How Many Candles Does Jesus Get on His Cake?” in the December issue, Jeanie McLean offers suggestions on how to encourage children to focus on Christ during the Christmas season. Here are some additional tips and helpful links.
- Use a child-friendly manger scene to teach the Christmas story to younger children. They can make their own manger scene out of blocks, fashioning figures from toilet paper rolls. Or use the manger scene you already own, if there are no breakable pieces or ones that would be a choking hazard. Read the story from a children’s Bible and allow children to manipulate the pieces as you tell the story.
- Consider telling parts of the story each day, having Mary and Joseph progress to the manger from another part of your home. Set up “Bethlehem” in one area, with Mary and Joseph in another. Read the entire story on Christmas morning, when children can finally place Jesus in His manger bed.
- Lead children to give gifts to Jesus of their time. Are there local nursing home residents who would welcome a visit from a child? Is there a community ministry your church serves that might need help stacking cans or boxes of food this month?
- Learn more about Lottie Moon and why Southern Baptists’ Christmas offering was named for this martyr of the faith.
- Tell your children Lottie’s story while making her recipe for tea cakes.
- Teach younger children about missions in Asia, including Christmas stories, music, and activities at this site by the International Mission Board: www.caravanfriends.org.
- Show the video “Errbody in the Church Helpin’ Lottie” video on YouTube to older children.
- Find prayer requests for international missionaries at www.kidsonmission.org.