Christmas is a special time of year that affords families the opportunity to use creative ways to point children and others to Christ.
We asked several consultants at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina about some recommended resources and ideas to focus on the joyful pursuit of making disciples this holiday season. Here are some of their suggestions.
Books and devotionals
In addition to the biblical narratives of Christ’s birth, there are a number of books and devotionals that can supplement your family’s Scripture readings at Christmastime. Consider the following.
In the free e-book, Every Holiday a Holy Day, Bruce and Lauren Ashford share how the yearly calendar provides opportunities to teach your children the gospel. For Christmas, there’s a chapter titled, “Three Essential Things Parents Should Share with their Kids about Christmas.” Download your free copy of the e-book at bruceashford.net. Bruce Ashford serves as provost and professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Take the opportunity to revisit the story of Jesus’ birth with your kids this Christmas season using The Jesus Storybook Bible. Author Sally Lloyd-Jones has also developed a free downloadable Advent guide that corresponds with The Jesus Storybook Bible. The guide includes a reading plan, printable Christmas ornaments and other activity ideas. Learn more and download your copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Guide.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is a family Advent devotional by Ann Voskamp based on the concept of the “Jesse Tree,” taken from Isaiah 11:1, that highlights the coming of Christ through the line of David. Voskamp provides daily thematic devotionals that seeks to aid children’s understanding of Christ’s coming along practical applications of each day’s theme.
The Advent season looks forward to the coming of Christ to earth and serves as a time of preparing for the glory of Christmas day. A traditional Advent calendar with accompanying Scripture readings can help keep your family’s focus on Christ leading up to Christmas.
LifeWay Christian Resources has developed a free downloadable Family Advent Guide designed for use with children. The guide includes devotions, activities and discussion questions to celebrate the birth of Christ as a family.
Focus on the Family also has a number of free downloadable Advent calendars and guides and calendars that include daily Scripture readings along with other interactive activities for children.
Activities and crafts
There are a variety of fun and purposeful ways to creatively engage with your child about Christmas and Jesus’ birth. Consider making Christmas tree ornaments with the different names for Jesus, making an Advent calendar chain or making an Advent wreath with your little one.
Christmas-themed toys and playsets are also a great way to engage and teach children the story of Jesus’ birth. Consider using a children’s Nativity set to teach your children about the Christmas story. FamilyLife ministries has a resource titled “What God Wants for Christmas” that includes a kid-friendly Nativity set with accompanying illustrated storybook and related activities. Or embark on a family journey and find Christ in Christmas with the “Shepherd on the Search” Advent activity set.
Here’s a list of all the resources mentioned above.
Every Holiday a Holy Day
The Jesus Storybook Bible – Advent guide
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
A traditional Advent calendar
Family Advent Guide
Advent calendars and guides and calendars
Christmas tree ornaments
Advent calendar chain
Children’s Nativity set
What God Wants for Christmas
Shepherd on the Search