Giving and Getting: Teach Your Kids the True Spirit of Christmas

The True Spirit of ChristmasChristmas is the season of giving…giving love, that is. Santa Claus, stockings and visions of sugar plums are integral parts of the holiday spirit, but it’s important for all of us, especially our children, to reflect on what Christmas is really about. Take some time this holiday season to teach your children about the birth of Christ. Here are some suggestions.

Books
Many stores have Christmas books that break down the birth of Christ into chapters to be read on certain dates, one chapter a night until Christmas morning. After dinner and before dessert is usually a good time. Have each child read a paragraph or two. If the chapter is only a paragraph long, alternate between children. As they learn the story, they will learn to appreciate the holiday.

Live Nativity Scenes
Many churches put on live Nativity scenes. Contact your local parish for times and dates. Most run for a few days leading up to Christmas Eve. These live nativities include not only narrators in full costume, but llamas, goats, pigs and other farm animals with which your child can play and interact. The more engaged they are, the more they can begin to appreciate the spirit of Christmas for what it is, rather than what they’ll be receiving.

Charity
There is no greater joy than to watch a child’s eyes light up when they unwrap that perfect gift. Instill in your children the importance of charity by explaining to them that there are children less fortunate than they. Look for child-centric charity events in your area and make it a point to attend. Tree lightings in town centers generally include activity areas where your children can assemble toys for the needy. Such activities are designed to let a child experience the joy of giving before they receive.

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care Programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

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