I’m always willing to try a new idea that could easily become a holiday tradition. For example, last year we found a book about The Sparkle Box where you place a box on your mantle place all year and as your family or children do good deeds, write them down, then place them in the box. On Christmas you open the box and talk to your kids about how the present was for Jesus. Then you read aloud all of the things your family did over the last year and remember how many things you did for the Lord and it’s just a great way to remember what Christmas is all about.
This year I read a few new picture books with my children about the meaning of Christmas that are sure to become yearly traditions. We always read the story of Christmas from the Gospel of Luke, or from one of our children’s bibles, but this year we’re also enjoying The Friendly Beasts. The book tells the Christmas story from the perspective of the animals in the stable. A CD with narration and a musical performance by Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James are part of the package. It’s beautifully illustrated and the performance on the CD is really great. We had a great time singing together as a family and I see this becoming a regular tradition.
I also read to my kids this year The Legend of the Candy Cane, and learned so much! I had no idea how long the candy cane has been around (over 350 years!) and that it was originally just a white stick; the red was added as peppermint became a more popular flavor. In The Legend of the Candy Cane the character Lucy offers a stranger some help as he is working on his store. To her delight she finds that he is opening a candy store. In one of the boxes is the candy cane and he points out that when you hold it upside down it looks like a “J” for Jesus, and when you hold it correctly it’s like a Shepard’s staff. The candy store owner tells her the red represents the blood of Jesus and a reminder how he died to save us all. While this story is fictional, it’s a sweet way to share with your children another reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
And finally I want to share the board book, Jesus, Me and My Christmas Tree. Almost everyone puts up a Christmas tree every year. From the star at the top to the presents below, there is a story of Jesus in your tree. The star led everyone to where Jesus was born. The wise man brought gifts from afar and the Christmas lights are a bright reminder to the life Jesus brought to us. This short board book is great for the little ones who might not be able to sit through the entire Christmas story. It’s told in a very simple way through the decorations you would use on your tree.
Traditions are a great way to come together as a family and remember God’s love for us during this Christmas season.
Share with us your favorite books you read to your kids every Christmas season. What other ways do you take to help share the meaning of Christmas to your kids? Share your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!