Christmas season is full of hustle and bustle. 
Schedules are full and consumers are bombarded with Santa and ways to indulge. 
 It is exceptionally hard to keep the focus on the reason for the season… Christ’s birth.
In these next few weeks before the 25th as you are swamped with menu plans,
shopping, wrapping, baking and parties,
here are a few ways to make sure that Jesus’ birth remains the focus of the festivities.




1.    The BEST way is to read from the BIBLE!    Luke 2 and Matthew 2   Make it a family affair!

2.    Story/Picture books – read together as a family.

3.    Put up the nativity set as a family.  Make it an event!  Let Jesus “arrive” in the manger on
       Christmas morning.

4.  Set up the manger/nativity set one piece at a time, adding to the story each night.

                                     “Snowball” Christmas Story 

To begin
this activity you need a Bible and an empty manger/stable.  Hold in
readiness these manger pieces:  angel,
Mary, Joseph, stable animals, baby Jesus, shepherds, sheep, wise men and a few
small wrapped empty gift boxes.  Add these
pieces one by one each night as you read another part of the
Christmas Story from the Bible. 
Idea:  You may want to wrap the lid of a
small jewelry size box, line it with cotton and lay baby Jesus inside the
box.  This is a great memorable visual to
show children that Jesus
is a gift from God
     Day 1.  A Savior King is promised – Isaiah 7: 14; 9:
6-7;  Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2-5 a gold ring)

     Day 2.  The angel Gabriel and a visit to Mary – Luke
1: 26-38 (introduce angel and Mary to scene.)

     Day 3.  Joseph is visited by an angel – Mathew
1:  18-25 (introduce Joseph)

     Day 4.  Bethlehem journey/no room in the Inn- Luke 2:
                                                                                             (introduce animals, and straw, if available)

     Day  5.  Jesus is born! – Luke 2: 8-14 (introduce baby

     Day 6.  Angels visit the shepherds- Luke 2: 8-14
(introduce angel(s))  and /or sing
Christmas hymns
                 (Angels We Have Heard on
High, O Little Town of Bethlehem, etc.

     Day 7.  Shepherds visit baby Jesus – Luke 2: 15-20
(introduce shepherds and sheep)

     Day 8.  The wise men travel to Jerusalem – Matthew 2:
1-8 (introduce camels and /or a star)

     Day 9.  The wise men find Jesus and worship Him in a
house- Matthew 2: 9-12
                                                                                                                    (introduce wise men)

     Day 10.  The dream and trip to Egypt – Matthew 2:

5.  Give children their own nativity to set up as they wish, to play with it and act out the story.  Add
     a children’s story book of the Christmas Story to “read” whenever they wish.

6.  On Christmas Day, have a birthday cake for Jesus.  Sing Happy Birthday.  Exchange gifts.

7.    Use old Christmas cards to retell the story.

8.    Help children make their own story book of the Christmas story.  Glue the old cards into a spiral
       notebook, scrapbook or old book.  Let children take  turns telling the story each night, in their
       own words.

 9.    Watch Christmas sales (especially the day after)… pick up non-breakable  ornaments that can be
        used to tell the Christmas story.

10.   Role play- acting  out Jesus’ birth. Props: bathrobes and towels, old gold candy boxes, a bag of
        potpourri, a card board box with a doll , Burger King paper crowns, etc.

Christmas Story Scriptures and Suggested Story Props
idea:   modified from Tricia@SweeterThanSweets 

           1.  Gabriel – Luke 1-26-28, 31                                                             angel wings

           2.  Engagement – Matthew 1:18                                                           gold rings

          3.  Mary’s Song – Luke 1: 46-55                                                         sheet music or music notes

          4.  Angel – Matthew 1:20                                                                    angel pin

          5.  Salvation through Jesus – Matthew 1: 21                                         cross

          6.  Jesus bridging the gap between heaven and
earth – Matthew 1:  22-23 and Isaiah 7:14

                                                                                                            Piece of string or a bridge

         7.  Jesus’ genealogy – Luke 2:4                                                           chain/ house/star of David

        8.  Journey from Nazareth – Luke 2: 5                                               stuffed donkey or statue

        9.  Purple royalty and Lion representation of
house of Judah – Micah 5:2

                                                                                                            Stuffed lion or purple cloth

         10.  Jesus is born – Luke 2:6-7                                                            a doll

         11.  Swaddling clothes – Luke 2:7                                                       a piece of soft cloth

         12.  The Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6                                                 a peace sign

         13.  Shepherds – Luke 2: 8-11                                                 wool stuffing or a shepherd’s hook

         14.  The manger – Luke 2:12                                                             pieces of straw

         15.  Angels – Luke 2: 13-14                                                                gold halos

         16.  Spreading the gospel – Luke 2: 15-18                                          jingle bells

         17.  Kneeling – response to Jesus as God – Psalm
95:6                      dirt or rocks

         18.  Mary pondering thoughts in her heart – Luke
2: 19-20, 33-35     heart sticker or charm

         19.  Jesus’ name – Luke 2: 21                                                             Jesus’
name printed

        20.  Sacrifice of doves/Holy Spirit like a dove in
baptism – Luke 2: 22-24, 3: 21-22

or 2 doves

        21.  Revelation of Jesus as Christ to Simeon –
Luke 2: 25-32             googly eyes

       22.  Magi’s wisdom and knowledge – Matthew 2:1                             scroll (rolled up

       23.  Jesus is King of Kings – Matthew 2: 1-2                                       crown ,
jewels, purple cloth

       24.  Star in the east – Matthew 2: 9-10                                                 star
sticker, charm

      25.  Wise men’s gifts – Matthew 2:11                  3
small gift boxes    (filled or not… your choice)

11.   Cut apart old Christmas cards of the nativity into puzzles.  Small children- 2-3 pieces.  Use
        more pieces for older children.  Store them in an envelope – label on the outside the number
        of  pieces and resulting picture.

12.  Use old Christmas cards and yarn to make lace-up or sewing cards

13.   Encourage the spirit of giving… pick a favorite toy, wrap creatively and present to a child
        in need… shelter, mission, angel tree. 

14.  Go shopping  for  your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or animal shelter

15.  Participate in a family service project.

     I know of a family with four small children.  Every year they give each child $50 to spend
     on someone else!  This year the kids “shopped” from a Samaritan’s Purse catalog (World 
     Vision is another option) and they picked out a fresh water well for a village without water
    (other options were chickens, goats, school supplies, vaccines, mosquito netting, etc.).  The
     kids did yard work, took orders for Christmas baking, participated in a living nativity and
     sold all of their match  box cars, Lego’s and dress up clothes in order to raise money for this
     effort to help others.  This family is an incredible inspiration and example of the true
     meaning of the season… sharing God’s love and kindness with others.

Other service project ideas to participate as a familythank the postal carrier with a card/small gift; cookies for firefighter/police officers; leave change in the vending machine; donate toys to charity; donate to a food pantry; thank you notes to teachers, leaders, principals; collect all the shopping carts at the store and bring them to the front; write a note to a relative; leave wipes and diapers on a changing table in a public restroom; do a neighborhood (school) trash walk; hug each family member; open the door for someone; make an unexpected play date to watch someone’s children; provide wish list items for the Humane Society; write a letter/card to grandparent;  write a letter (make a picture) to a missionary or a soldier; make someone’s bed for them read with a sibling; doorbell ditch a treat; smile at three people today; leave collected couch/car change in the bell ringers bucket; give up one of your Christmas presents to someone secretly outside the family by doorbell ditching them Christmas afternoon; deliver cookies to neighbors/friends/ nursing home; etc.

16.  Spend time together as a family, interacting and communicating with each other… no electronics

      Ideas:  pop and string popcorn garlands; make hot chocolate and add marshmallows; play with
                 Christmas stickers… make a picture; tour the Christmas lights in your neighborhood–invite
                 and elderly neighbor to join you; go to a holiday parade; pick out a Christmas tree;
                 make paper snowflakes and hang on the windows or from a ceiling light; read a Christmas
                 book; build a snowman;  go caroling; visit a live nativity; make an ornament for your tree;
                 volunteer for a part in the Christmas pageant at church or attend the children’s program;etc.

These are just a few ideas to choose from, or springboard new ideas, for your family this holiday season in order to keep the true meaning of Christmas as your focus. 
Wishing you many blessings and lots of fun, memory making experiences!

This Blog Post is inspired from the book:

Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:

Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share

by Becky B. Baxa

If you would like more fun ideas to share with your children

(that do not require batteries or electronics )

you can purchase this 180 page book,

full of color photos,

for $21.95


from the gift shop at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO,
Silver Dollar City General Store in Branson, MO.

This book can also be checked out from the following libraries:

Scenic Regional Library – Pacific, MO
First Christian Church – Washington, MO
Hawaii State Library – Honolulu, HI
Story City Public Library – Story City, IA

Ellsworth Public Library – Ellsworth, ME
Ludington Public Library – Ludington, MI
Denver Public Library – Denver, CO
Pikes Peak Library District – Colorado Springs, CO
Dallas Public Library – Dallas, Texas

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