We all have our Christmas traditions. Whether it be setting up the Christmas tree, baking the cookies together, or watching a certain Christmas movie (My Top 5: Home Alone 1 & 2, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus and Christmas with the Kranks).
What about a new tradition? Telling the Christmas story in a special way each year. Here are some ideas:
1. Use your own manger scene figures with the story, or cut out the figures we have provided.
2. Stage each part of the story in a different part of the house. For example, the angel may have appeared to Mary in the kitchen. Today’s version of the manger could be the garage. The shepherds would be outside in the yard. King Herod would be in your best room.
3. Read one part of the story every night for a week before Christmas, or load up the camel (that would be dad) and give the kids a ride from place to place all in one night.
4. Give each of the children a story figure to hold and allow them to act out the story as you read it.
5. If your children can read well allow them to narrate the story.
6. Incorporate household props to make it fun. For example, a dish towel with a shoe lace tied around a child’s head makes a great shepherd hat. Crowns can be cut out from this template for the kings. A pastel sheet wrapped around a child and tied with a rope makes a great Mary dress. Wrap you angel with a white sheet and put a little garland on her head.
7. The Magi were the gift givers from which we get the gift giving tradition of Christmas. An effective way to limit gifts and point children back to the real meaning of gifts at Christmas is to tell your children they will get 3 gifts just as Jesus received 3 gifts. If your children believe in Santa you can throw in a fourth gift from him or have Santa fill the stockings.
8. End your story with a birthday celebration – A Baby Jesus Birthday Party. We recommend red velvet cake as a festive tradition your children will beg for. This is our favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe.