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  • Writer's pictureSt. Matthews

Keeping kids focused on Jesus this Christmas

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Are you looking for ideas to help keep the children in your lives focused on the true reason for the season?

Most of us know how easy it is for children (and adults) to get swept away by all the secular Christmas imagery and messages out there… Santa, "The Elf”, shopping and more shopping, cookies… more cookies.

It can be frustrating figuring out ways to keep your family focused on Jesus during Advent and Christmas, but by adding in some intentionality into your day, you'll find it's easier than you thought to incorporate the real reason we celebrate this time of year.

Here are a few easy-to-use ideas:

Advent Devotionals - St. Matthew's Family Advent Devotional offers 5-minute long daily videos and bible stories to engage kids and create great discussions on how the stories in the Old Testament lead to the birth of Jesus! Each day also includes an optional activity. For adults, check out #AdventWord for wonderful daily devotionals and meditations.

The infamous “Elf” - How about using "The Elf" for good instead of just the silly and messy? Try a few of these printable activities

Imaginary play - Use Legos or your children’s dolls and action figures to play out the nativity story. Build a nativity together out of Legos!

Dinner Time Conversation Starters – Have some older kids in your life? Use these printable cards from to start conversations during mealtime about Christmas.

Watch a Christmas play or Nativity Story - like our Children's Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve at 3 pm? Hint, hint.

Read a book about Jesus and the Nativity. Here are just a few to check out:

  • M is for Manger: An ABC Book for Toddlers about Christmas and the Nativity by Crystal Brown. Travel through the alphabet with this beautiful rhyming storybook that tells the story of Jesus’ birth. Baby - 6 years.

  • The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell. Perfect for ages 3-6 is a captivating retelling of the Christmas story, showing how God kept his promise to send a new King, a rescuing King, a forever King!

  • Who was Jesus? by Ellen Morgan. Your kids may have seen episodes of the Who Was? Show on Netflix. This book doesn’t settle questions of theology but presents young readers with a great biography of Jesus in an even-handed and easy-to-read narrative. Ages 8-12.

  • The Best/Worst Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way. Ages 8-12.

Come to Faith Factory! - Did you know that each week in Sunday School here at St. Matthew’s the amazing teachers are engaging kids in the bible lessons that lead to Jesus’ birth? If you haven’t been to Faith Factory in a while, or haven’t joined us before - come check it out on Sundays during our 9:30 am and 11 am services.

Gingerbread Making - instead of gingerbread houses, try making a gingerbread nativity!

Gingerbread Bash Check out our event this Saturday, Dec 11th at 4:30 pm, join Rev. Mary Margaret Winn for our Gingerbread Bash; a fun, hands-on Christmas event for kids and families. During this program, families will build gingerbread nativities, hear the Christmas story from the Bible, sing songs, and discover that sometimes the greatest gift comes in the most ordinary box!​

Lastly, don’t try to do it all! Don’t let the busyness of this season prevent you from taking time to slow down and live in the moment with your family. Walk in the Spirit and allow yourself to listen to what God is asking you to do and how to focus on what is important, time together.

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