November 28, 2014

12 Ways to Keep CHRIST in Christmas

by

The holidays are upon us and today we are sharing… 

12 Ways to Have a CHRIST-Centered Christmas

Because HE is the reason for the season.  And His presence is more important than the presents.

TONS of awesome resources for a Christ-Centered Christmas!

 It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas.  There are presents to buy and wrap, Christmas cards to make and send, lights to hang, and goodies to make.  It’s just easy to forget the real reason for the season.  This time of year I try to remember our first Christmas together after we got married.  It was my first Christmas away from home, and we were far away teaching English in China.  I was pregnant and miserably sick.  There was no snow or lights or carols.  No stockings, gingerbread houses, or Christmas cards.  After all, it wasn’t a holiday in China.  We tried to get into the Christmas spirit by cutting out paper snowflakes and downloading Christmas songs from iTunes.  We even found a tiny 6-inch Christmas tree in the city.  But for some reason, I still wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit.  

 On Christmas Eve I started thinking about everything our families would be doing back home and on Christmas morning we had to go teach our classes.  There were no presents under our little tree.  Money was tight and we decided we’d exchange letters instead of gifts.  But as I sat down to read my husband’s letter, my entire mood shifted.  He talked about how grateful he was for our marriage and how excited he was to become a dad in the new year.  As I continued reading, I started thinking of the first Christmas family and that little baby in the manger.  I thought of my own new family and our little baby that was growing inside of me.  And suddenly I was overwhelmed with love- Christ’s love for me.  That’s the Christmas spirit!  We didn’t have any presents to unwrap, but we had all of the greatest gifts already.   Away on the other side of the world, away from the materialism and commercialism of Christmas- I found and felt the real reason for the season.  And every year as things get crazy and chaotic, I try to remember our first Christmas and what’s really important- my family and my God. 


So this year, we decided to round-up all the resources that you’ll need to keep CHRIST in Christmas!
 

Including CHRIST-Centered Christmas . . .

  • Music {The Ultimate Playlist}
  • Decor  {Free Printables}
  • Books  
  • Movies
  • Advents
  • “Elf on the Shelf” Alternatives
  • Crafts & Activities
  • Coloring Pages
  • Treats & Snacks
  • Gifts 
  • Traditions
  • Service

Now obviously you can’t do them all!  But hopefully as you browse through them you’ll find the perfect traditions and activities to help bring your family closer together and closer to Christ.  Because THAT is what it’s all about.  

1.   Fill your home with Christ-Centered Christmas Music

The Ultimate Christ-Centered Christmas Playlist!  Over 50 songs and 3 hours of beautiful music.

It’s amazing to me how quickly music can change the mood in our home.  So I decided to put together…  

The ULTIMATE Christ-Centered Christmas Playlist!

Over 50 songs & more than 3 hours of beautiful music!

Click above to listen to the whole playlist OR listen to the individual songs below…

1.  The Perfect Gift- By JJ Heller

2.  The Heart of Christmas- By Matthew West

3.  It’s Christmas- By Mandisa

4.  Christmastime- By Hilary Weeks

5.  Maybe This Christmas- By Leigh Nash

6.  Real- By Nichole Nordeman

7.  Christmastime- By Michael W. Smith

8.  When Love Was Born- By Mark Schultz

9.  Joseph’s Lullaby- By Mercy Me

10.  Mary’s Lullaby- The Brilliance

11.  Child of Love- Sara Groves

12.  Adore Him- By Kari Jobe

13.  Do You Have Room- By Shawna Edwards

14.  The Earth Stood Still- By Future of Forestry

15.  What a Glorious Night- By Sidewalk Prophets

16.  Asleep in the Hay- By Jonny Diaz

17.  You’re Here- By Francesca Battistelli

18.  In the Bleak Midwinter- By Brandon Heath

19.  Better Days- By Matt Brouwer

20.  Christmas Angels- By Michael W. Smith

21.  Christmas Offering- Casting Crowns

22.  Born Is the King (It’s Christmas)- Craig & Dean Phillips

23.  Precious Promise- By Steven Curtis Chapman

24.  A Baby Changes Everything- By Faith Hill

25.  A Baby Will Come- By Emilee Cook and Bill Wolf

26.  A Strange Way to Save the World- By 4 Him

27.  The Night Before Christmas- By Brandon Heath

28.  One Child- By Natalie Grant

29.  Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)- By Chris Tomlin

30.  This Baby- By Steven Curtis Chapman

31.  Christmas Is All in the Heart- By Steven Curtis Chapman

32.  Sweet Little Jesus Boy- By Casting Crowns

33.  Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)- By Amy Grant

34.  Christ is Born- By The Carpenters

35.  Mary, Did You Know?- By Pentatonix

36.  One King- By Point of Grace

37.  The Way in a Manger- By Paul Brandt

38.  He Made A Way in a Manger- By David Klinkenburg

39.  Hallelujah (Light Has Come)- By BarlowGirl

40.  Gabriel’s Message- Jars of Clay

41.  Go, Tell It On The Mountain- By David Crowder Band

42.  O Little Town of Bethlehem- By Natalie Grant

43.  The First Noel- By David Archuleta

44.  Silent Night- By Josh Groan

45.  Ave Maria- By Michael Buble

46.  What Child is This- By Mercy Me

47.  Away in a Manger- By Celtic Woman

48.  Joy to the World- By Bing Crosby

49.  O Holy Night- By Perry Como

50.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear- By Kutless

51.  O Come, All Ye Faithful- By Britt Nicole

52.  Angels We Have Heard on High- David Archuleta

53.  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing- By Carrie Underwood

54.  We Three Kings- By Tenth Avenue North & Britt Nicole

55.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel- By Enya

 

2.  Decorate your home with

Christ-Centered Christmas Decor

 

15 Free Christ-Centered Christmas Printables- An easy way to add some meaningful Christmas decor to your home

I love decorating our home for holidays, but I often find it difficult to find Christ-centered decorations.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Santa and Frosty and Rudolph as much as the next guy, but I try to make sure to include the Savior as much as possible.  And these free printables are a great way to do it- all you have to do is print and hang!

15 Free Christ-Centered Christmas Printables

FREE Christ-Centered Christmas Printables- the perfect way to add some meaningful decor to your home for the holidays!

1.  Glory to the Newborn King- from My Fabuless Life

2.  Are You Part of the Inn Crowd- from The Idea Door

3.  Wise Men Still Seek Him- from Powerful Creations

4.  O, Come Let Us Adore Him- from A Well-Feathered Nest

5.  Jesus is the Reason for the Season- from How to Nest for Less

6.  All Families Need a Stable Foundation- from A Pocket Full of LDS Prints

7.  The Magic of Christmas is Not in the Presents- from Kayleigh Searle Photography

8.  And His Name Shall Be Called- from Jones Design Company

9.  For Unto Us a Child is Born- from PeaBee Designs

10.  Unto You is Born This Day- from She Wears Many Hats

11.  Oh Holy Night- from AKA Design

12.  Behold Your King- from Capital B

13.  Silent Night- from Second Chance to Dream

14.  Glory to God- from Falala Designs

15.  Joy to the World Banner- from The Girl Creative

 

3.  Read Christ-Centered Christmas Stories

A whole collection of Christ-centered Christmas storybooks for kids.  A great way to keep the focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  Read one every night leading up until Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is reading a different Christmas story together before bed.  We especially love to read by the lights of the Christmas tree.  Each year I try to find a new story to add to our collection, and I’m always searching for Christ-centered books. That’s why I rounded up…

45 Christ-Centered Christmas Storybooks

Christ-Centered Christmas Books for Kids

1.  God Gave Us Christmas-  When a little cub asks his mama who invented Christmas, he finds out the real reason for the season. 

2.  Baby Blessings Christmas-  A fun board board for babies that tells the story of Christmas in rhyme.

3.  One Shining Star: A Christmas Counting Book-  A nativity counting book for kids.

4.  Humphrey’s First Christmas-  We’ve all heard the story of the wisemen, but what about the camels who carried them?

5.  The Legend of the Candy Cane-  Find out how a simple candy cane symbolizes the real reason for the Christmas season. 

6.  The Legend of the Christmas Tree-  On a visit to the Christmas tree lot, a family learns the meaningful origin behind the tradition of searching for a Christmas tree.  

7.  Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree-  Learn the symbolism of the Christmas tree, from the lights and ornaments to the star on top and the presents underneath.

8.  The Small One-  A young boy from Nazareth sells his beloved donkey, Small One, to a man who needs one to carry his wife, Mary, to Bethlehem. 

9.  Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale-  Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable on a cold winter night. 

10.  A Donkey’s Little Tale-  A beautiful re-telling of the Christmas story, told through the eyes of the little donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem. 

11.  Twas the Night Before Jesus-  The familiar rhyme is brought to life with the beautiful Christmas story.

12.  J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told-  A sweet story to remind little ones that the candy cane represents Jesus’ birth and His gospel message too.

13.  Happy Birthday Jesus-  A family decorates in honor of Jesus’ birthday, sings Him “Happy Birthday”, and even makes a birthday cake.  

14.  Jesus and the Very Best Birthday-  A fun story to introduce the birthday aspect of Christmas to children.

15.  The Christmas Story-  This classic Little Golden Book retells the Christmas story with poetic text. 

Storybooks to help keep CHRIST in Christmas.  Read one every day counting down to Christmas.

16.  Christmas in the Manger-  A retelling of the Christmas story with simple, rhythmic text and large pictures- perfect for the youngest members of the family.  

17.  Mortimer’s Christmas Manger-  Mortimer the mouse finds the perfect new home- the stable in a family’s nativity scene. 

18.  Little Porcupine’s Christmas-  A young porcupine is heartbroken when he doesn’t get a part in the “Baby in the Manger” play.  The surprise ending is beautiful.

19.  Come and See: A Christmas Story-  Readers follow the shepherds, townsfolk, and animals as they make their way to the manger to see the newborn baby Jesus.

20.  The Manger Where Jesus Lay-  Written in the pattern of “The House that Jack Built”, this predictable book allows young children to join in when they recognize a symbol.  

21.  Stable Where Jesus Was Born-  This sweet story uses repeating rhyme to portray the excitement of those who witnessed Christ’s birth- from Mary and Joseph to the barn cats and mice.

22.  There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve-  On a cold winter night, two children and an adult walk outside and reflect on the contrast between the snowy scene before them and that desert night in Jerusalem when Jesus was born.

23.  The Candle in the Window-  There is an old legend that the Christ Child walks around on Christmas Eve seeking to enter the hearts of men.  It’s a candle in the window that invites Him in. 

24.  The Perfect Christmas Gift-  Fans of the Gigi books will love this Gigi Christmas story.  On Christmas Eve, Gigi’s dad reads to her about the birth of Jesus.  

25.  The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale-  A treasured folktale tells the Christmas and Easter story in a very unique point of view- three trees that grow up to be Jesus’ manger, boat, and cross. 

26.  Alabaster’s Song: Christmas through the Eyes of an Angel-  A beautiful, sweet story about a little boy whose Christmas tree angel, Alabaster, comes to life. 

27.  What Is Christmas?This cute book lists all of the fun things that Christmas might be about, and finally concludes that it is truly about celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

28.  The Littlest Angel the Original Christmas Classic-  A heartwarming story of a small angel trying desperately to fit into heaven, and the timeless lesson he learns from the birth of Christ.

29.  An Angel Came to Nazareth-  This beautifully illustrated book has a unique spin on the retelling of the Christmas story.  In ancient Nazareth an angel has a riddle for the barn animals.  

30.  Who is Coming to Our House?-  A sweet story about how all of the animals in the stable prepare to welcome baby Jesus to their home.  

A whole collection of picture books to help keep Christ the center of Christmas.  Read one book every night until Christmas!

31.  How Many Miles To Bethlehem?-  In this presentation of the Christmas story, each character steps up one after another to introduce themselves and tell their part.  

32.  Listen to the Silent Night-  Was it really a silent night when baby Jesus was born?  From the baa baa of the sheep to the moo moo of the cow, the sounds of that miraculous night bring the Christmas story to life.

33.  The Nativity-  The beautiful ancient language of the Bible is paired with modern illustrations- adding an element of realism to the treasured Christmas story.

34.  The Birth of Jesus-  A simple re-telling of the Christmas story with easy language for young children to understand.

35.  Story of Baby Jesus-  A fun “Alice in Bibleland” story.  As Alice is reading her Bible she enters the Christmas scene she has been reading about.

36.  A Christmas Goodnight-  A beautiful going to bed Christmas Eve book for Christians. 

37.  The Crippled Lamb-  A touching story of the birth of Christ as seen through the eyes of Joshua, a lamb who has been crippled since birth.

38.  Little Star-  All the stars in heaven are competing to see who can shine the brightest for the king who will be born.  This twist on the classic Christmas story connects the star on top of the tree with the true meaning of Christmas.

39.  One Starry Night-  Two separate narratives tell the story of the night Christ as born and parental love.

40.  Fear Not, Joseph!-  The Christmas story told from Joseph’s point of view.  

41.  Mary’s First Christmas-  Mary tells her son Jesus about the night he was born.  

42.  The Shepherd’s Christmas Story-  This story teaches children that the newborn Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God.

43.  The Fourth King: The Story of the Other Wise Man-  We all know the story of the three wisemen, but this is a story about another king who set out on the long and difficult journey.  

44.  The Wonder of Christmas-  By posing open-ended questions, the author draws young readers into the events of the night Jesus was born.

45.  The Animals’ Christmas Eve-  A sweet rhyming story where the animals recount the story of Christ’s birth.  

You might also want to read “The Night Before CHRISTmas” with your family.  It’s a sweet poem to help us remember the real reason for the season.

 

4.  Watch Christ-Centered Christmas Movies 

Christ-Centered Christmas Movies- to help the kids remember what Christmas is really about!

I love cuddling up together as a family with some cocoa for a Christmas movie night.  The Grinch and Elf are favorites around here, but I’m always on the hunt for movies that incorporate the real reason behind it all.  So here are…

12 Christ-Centered Christmas Movies

Christ-Centered Christmas Movies- Watch one for each of the 12 Days of Christmas

1.  A Charlie Brown Christmas-  When Charlie Brown is assigned to direct the school Christmas pageant, everything seems to go wrong.  Until Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas to the beloved Peanuts gang.  

2.  Veggie Tales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection-  The entire VeggieTales gang put on a Christmas movie marathon that also teaches Christian values.  The collection includes:  It’s a Meaningful Life, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, The Little Drummer Boy, The Toy that Saved Christmas, and The Star of Christmas.

3.  What’s In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks…Why Do We Call it Christmas?-  Join Buck Denver and his friends for a fun and unusual Christmas party.   Everyone loves Christmas, but have you ever wondered why we celebrate the birth of Jesus by putting tress in our houses? Or hanging stockings by the fire?  And how did Santa Clause become a big part of Jesus’ birthday party anyway?  

4.  Joy To The World-  This movie is filled with wonderful scenes of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, and ministry, and accompanied by beautiful music performed by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

5.  Mr. Krueger’s Christmas-  Mr.Kruger is a lonely widower, played by Jimmy Stewart, who finds comfort through a group of carolers singing outside his window.  Him interaction with them places him in a fantasy where he imagines himself in the stable on the very first Christmas.

6.  The Nativity Story-  The story of Christ’s birth is turned into a full-length film in “The Nativity Story.”  The movie can really help bring the beloved story to light for older children, but I recommend pre-screening it before showing it to younger children.  

7.  Silent Night-  A touching re-telling of the true story behind one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time.  Set in 1818 in a small Austrian town near Slazburg, it tells the story of Joseph Mohr, the new assistant priest who organizes a church choir- including outcasts from the local tavern. 

8.  The Perfect Gift-  Max is a young girl who just happens to have her birthday on Christmas- and she does not like it.  She also does not like her school assignment to write about Christmas.  But Jes helps Max to see how important God’s perfect gift to us was.  

9.  Christmas with a Capital C-  The mayor and citizens of Trapper Falls, a small Alaskan town, are in a legal battle to keep the spirit and traditions of Christmas alive.  The movie explores the culture wars between secularism and Christianity and is a reminder of the real spirit of Christmas- peace on earth and good will to all.  Even to this whose hearts seemed closed to Him. 

10.  The Fourth Wise Man-  Based on the classic book, “The Other Wise Man,” this fictional story is set in Biblical times.  It tells of a Magi named Artaban who sees the sign in the heavens and starts his journey to find the Messiah.  With three precious gifts in hand  he seeks Jesus- only to keep missing him.  After 33 years he finally finds him, on Easter Sunday.    

11.  Jacob’s Gift-  Eager to participate in the construction of a new synagogue, a young boy works diligently to create a manger to convince his rabbi he is qualified for the job.  But when a needy couple takes refuge in the stable behind his family’s inn, Jacob offers them a precious gift instead. 

12.  Star in the Night-  An old 1945 short drama about a motel owner who has lost faith in humanity.  The motel guests are only concerned for themselves- until a poor man and his pregnant wife drive up unable to go any further.   Out of rooms, they prepare a place for them in a shed.  This modern-day nativity story reminds everyone of another family seeking shelter almost two thousand years earlier. 

Oh, and if that’s not enough- you can watch 9 other Christ-Centered Christmas movies here!  You might also want to check out “A Week of Short Holiday Movies.”

 

5.  Count down to Christmas with a

Christ-Centered Christmas Advent

Keep Christ in Christmas with a Christ-Centered Advent Calendar- love these!

There’s something about counting down to Christmas that adds so much excitement and anticipation.  But instead of getting a chocolate or present each day, why not add in a more meaningful advent?  Here are…

20 Christ-Centered Christmas Advents

Christ-Centered Advent Calendars to help keep CHRIST in Christmas!

1.  Christ the Savior is Born Advent Calendar-  Each days reveals a picture portraying part of the Christmas story or Chris’s life.  There’s also a correlating scripture and an activity for each picture.

2.  Come Unto Christ Advent Calendar-  Here’s another fun version using velcro- each day reveals a different picture of Christ and a scripture that goes with it.

3.  Nazareth to Bethlehem Advent-  Each day Mary and Joseph will get farther from their home in Nazareth and closer to Bethlehem, just in time for Christ’s birth on Christmas.  {Free pattern included!}

4.  Felt Nativity Advent- Each day, the children can pull a piece of the nativity out of the pocket to create the manger scene.  {Template included!}

5.  Kids Christmas Refrigerator Advent-  Here’s another great version of the Nazareth to Bethlehem advent, but this one uses vinyl and magnets- perfect for the refrigerator.  

6.  Scripture Countdown-  The mini envelopes on this cute advent each hold a scripture about the birth or life of Jesus Christ. 

7.  Christmas Service Advent Calendar-  I love how simple this idea is- just cut your favorite nativity picture into 24 equal squares.  Then add an act of service onto the back of each one.  Each day you’ll complete an act of service as a family and turn it over to reveal the picture.  {Free download!}

8.  The Names of Jesus Advent Chain-  Each link on the paper chain contains a name of Christ and a Bible reference!  {Free download!}

9.  Names of Christ Advent-  This advent has 24 little gifts- each correlating with a name of the Savior.  

10.  Advent Devotionals-  Check out this site for 25 days of Christ-centered Christmas family devotionals!  

Help the kids remember the reason for the season with a Christ-Centered Advent Calendar

11.  “The Christ Book” Countdown-  This binder contains everything you need to teach your children to remember Christ each day.  And all you need is just 5-10 minutes a night.  {Free downloads!}

12.  Making Christmas Count-  This advent includes 24 cards- each with a topic about Christ, a scripture, a suggested activity, and an illustrated symbol to display.  {Free download!}

13.  25 Days of Christ-  Gather your family each night in December to study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ- then let the children put a symbolic ornament on the tree after each night’s reading.

14.  Truth in the Tinsel-  This inexpensive download includes 24 days of scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points, and extension activities.  

15.  Muffin Tin Advent Calendar-  Turn a muffin tin into a Christmas advent.  And the best part is, you can fill it up with anything you’d like- scriptures, acts of service, or family activities.  

16.  A Christ-Centered Advent for Toddlers-  Sit down with your kids every night for a Christ-centered scripture, song, and book.  I love the idea of wrapping up 24 books and unwrapping one to read each night.

17.  Matchbox Nativity Scene Advent Calendar-  This fun calendar consists of 24 match boxes, each covered with a cut-out nativity figure.  {Free download!}

18.  Candle Scripture Advent Calendar-  Just take a thin candle and put 24 marks down the side.  Then every night, light the candle and let it burn down to the next mark.  As it burns, read the scriptures.  {Daily scripture schedule included!}  *This would also make a great family gift.

19.  “Tell me the Stories of Jesus” Scripture Advent-  No complicated crafting involved- just follow the scripture schedule and read together every night!

20.  Printable Christmas Advent Wreath-  This printable advent wreath is so fun- each day has its own Christmas figure or symbol to place it the wreath slots, along with a fun activity to complete as a family.

 

6.   Start a Christ-Centered Alternative to

“The Elf on the Shelf”

Christ-Centered Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf- to help them focus on the real reason for the season

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Elf on the Shelf.  I think it’s a fun way to add some magic to the holiday season for kids.  But if you’re looking for ways to add more meaning to the holidays, here are…  

4 Christ-Centered Alternatives to the Elf on the Shelf

Christ-Centered  Elf on the Shelf Alternatives

1.  Moving Mary and Joseph-  Each day Mary and Joseph travel until Christmas day when they arrive at “Bethlehem.”

2.  Wandering Wisemen- Each day the wisemen wander around the house in search of baby Jesus.  {You can check out some fun Wisemen Adventures here.}

3.  The Christmas Angel-  Each day the Christmas angel leaves a messages for your children to act on.  Their blog even has a printable calendar full of message ideas.  

4.  Kindness Elves-  Instead of causing mischief, these little elves love to help spread love and notice kindness in others. 

 

7.   Plan Christ-Centered Christmas

Crafts & Activities

Fun Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids

I’m always looking for fun holiday crafts to do with the kids during Christmas break and these ones fit the bill perfectly.  Here are…

23 Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts & Activities

Nativity Arts and Crafts for Kids- most of them are free printables too!

1.  Felt Nativity Hand Puppets-  These felt hand puppets are a fun way for kids to re-tell the nativity story.  {Free template and pattern download.}  

2.  Felt Wall Nativity-  This felt stable goes on the wall so the kids can easily reach and play with all the nativity characters.  {Free template download.}

3.  Printable Toilet Paper Roll Nativity for Kids-  This free printable nativity set is a perfect for kids!  Just print, color, and glue around empty toilet paper rolls.  

4.  Nativity Paper Toys-  This free printable paper craft would be a fun family project- construct your own 3D nativity.  

5.  Paper City Nativity Scene-  Let the kids cut and color their own nativity scene. 

6.  Make the Town of Bethlehem-  If you’re up for a challenge, try making the whole town of Bethlehem.  

7.  Nativity Popsicle Stick Puppets- How cute are these nativity popsicle stick puppets?  There’s even a cute song to sing with them!

8.  Recycled Nativity Set-  Let the kids recycle small items around the house like empty spice bottles and spools to make their own nativity set.  

9.  Cardboard Nativity-  Help the kids watercolor the different characters in the nativity scene, then mount on pieces of cardboard and attach to clothes pins.  

10.  Egg Carton Baby Jesus-  Use a section of a styrofoam egg carton to craft a baby Jesus. 

11.  Paper Bag Manger-  Cut out a brown paper bag to make a manger for baby Jesus. 

12.  Paper Bag Nativity-  Or cut a brown paper bag to turn it into a stable for the whole nativity scene. 

Christ-Centered Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids

13.  Magnetic Nativity Set-  Print your favorite nativity onto magnetic sheets and let the kids play with it on the refrigerator.  

14.  Nativity Paper Doll Magnets-  These free printable nativity paper dolls are perfect for turning into magnets.  Just print, cut, and play.  

15.  Printable Nativity Clothes for Peg Dolls-  This printable nativity set was made especially for wooden peg dolls.  Just attach the clothes and draw on the faces and features. 

16.  Kid-Friendly Wood Block Nativity Set-  Attach some nativity stickers to wooden blocks to make a kid-friendly nativity set.  

17.  DIY Nativity Blocks and Stable-  Here’s another kid-friendly nativity set.  Just attach your favorite nativity clipart to wooden blocks with Mod Podge.  

18.  Nativity Sensory Bin-  Make a whole sensory bin for the kids to play with their favorite nativity set.

19.  Nativity Playdough Mats-  These nativity playdough mats are a free download.  Just print them out and make up a batch of homemade playdough.  

20.  Away in a Manger Dice Game-  A fun and easy game for young children.  Just roll the dice to see what character you get to add to the stable. 

21.  Christmas Story 20 Questions Game-  A fun game to play as a family.  Just take the classic game of 20 questions and customize it to help keep Christ in Christmas.

22.  Find and Fill Nativity Game-  Let the kids search for the different nativity characters using clue cards.  

23.  Pop-Up Nativity Card-  This free printable pop-up nativity card is a fun and easy Christmas card to make together.

 

8.  Color Christ-Centered Christmas

Coloring Pages

Free Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages for the Kids

Looking for some easy holiday fun?  Why not color together and teach the Christmas story at the same time?  Here are…

15 Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages

Free Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages

1. Christmas Coloring Booklet-  from My Little House.

2.  “I Love Baby Jesus” Nativity Coloring Pages-  from Creative Kidstuff.

3.  Nativity Coloring Pages-  from Xmas Coloring Pages.

4.  Nativity Scene Coloring Pages- from On Coloring.

5.  Color, Cut, & Paste Nativity-  from Bible Story Printables.

6.  Stable Story Strips & Fold-Up Manger-  from Creative Kidstuff.

7.  Nativity Mobiles and Dioramas-  from Daily Coloring Pages.

8.  Nativity Printable Activity Pack for PreK-K-  from Meet Penny.

9.  Christ-Centered Christmas Coloring Pages-  from Happy Clean Living.  

10.  For Unto Us Coloring Page-  from Teacher’s Notebook.

11.  Baby Jesus Coloring Page-  from Melonheadz.

12.  Manger Scene Coloring Page-  from Calvary Kids Pages.

13.  Wisemen Coloring Page-  from A Girl and a Gluegun.  

14.  Little Drummer Boy Coloring Page-  from Coloring Book 4 Kids.

15.  Color Your Own Nativity Placemats-  from In All You Do.

 

9.  Make Christ-Centered Christmas

Treats & Snacks

Christ-Centered Christmas Treats and Snacks to make with the kids

Edible crafts are my kids’  favorite and these Christ-centered snacks are way too fun…

13 Christ-Centered Christmas Treats & Snacks

Christ-Centered Christma Treats and Snacks for Kids.jpg

1.  Gingerbread Nativity-  Instead of the usual gingerbread house, try making a gingerbread nativity scene together.  

2.  Gingerbread Nativity with Candy Cane Manger-  Here’s another fun gingerbread nativity- I love the candy cane manger. 

3.  Away in a Manger Christmas Cookies-  Use Nutter Butters to make baby Jesus cookies.

4.  Nativity Cookies-  Every loves making Christmas cookies, why not use cookie cutters to make nativity cookies?  

5.  Nativity Molasses CookiesGingerbread cookies are always fun, but these nativity cookies are a great way to keep Christ in Christmas.  Just use Nativity Cookie Cutters.  

6.  Baby Jesus Cupcakes-  Use chocolate graham crackers and vanilla wafers to make baby Jesus in the manger.

7.  A Birthday Cake for Jesus-  Help the children understand the real reason for the season by making a birthday cake for Jesus together.

8.  Healthy Nativity Snack-  This snack is easy, healthy, AND a fun way to bring Christ into the Christmas season. 

9.  Nativity Sandwich-  I love how simple this idea is- let the kids make baby Jesus on their sandwich bread using a graham cracker, pretzel sticks, and marshmallows.  

10.  Jesus in the Manger Lunch-  That carrot and cheese baby Jesus just might be the sweetest Christmas lunch ever.  

11.  Manger Scene LunchThis baby Jesus is made of a mini hot dog and a crescent roll makes the perfect swaddling clothes.  

12.  3 Kings Snack-  How creative is this 3 kings snack?  I love their animal cracker camels.  

13.  Candy Scriptures-  Just glue the printable scripture onto two Hershey nuggets to make miniature candy scriptures. 

 

10.  Give Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

If you’re still on the hunt for Christmas gifts with meaning, you might want to check these ideas out…

22 Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Gifts.jpg

1.  DIY Nativity Stocking Holders-  Wouldn’t these nativity stocking holders make the perfect family gift?  You can buy the vinyl set on her site too.

2.  Printable Paint Stick Ornaments: Names and Attributes of Christ-  Just print this gorgeous names of Christ printable and attach to paint sticks to make simple but meaningful ornaments for family and friends. 

3.  Nativity Ornaments-  These beautiful nativity ornaments are the perfect, simple gift for neighbors, family, and friends.

4.  Straw Nativity Ornaments-  Just add some straw and your favorite nativity picture to a glass ornament!

5.  Wooden Nativity Ornaments-  The beautiful wood ornaments are perfect for mass producing for neighbor and friend gifts.  

6.  12 Days of Christmas Nativity-  Instead of giving candy and gifts for the 12 days of Christmas, find a 12-piece nativity set and give a different piece each night.  

7.  12 Days of Christmas with Nativity Cards-  Here’s another 12 Days of Christmas Nativity- she even includes printable nativity cards to go with each piece of the nativity.  

8.  Nativity Dress-Up Set- Many families act out the nativity scene on Christmas Eve, so why not gift a whole nativity dress-up set?  It’s a gift that is sure to be treasured year after year.  {You should also check out these Nativity Boxes}

9.  Nativity Script and Song Set-  Along with the nativity dress-up set, you could also include this printable nativity script and song set!

10.  Wood Manger- This wood manger would make a beautiful addition to any family’s Christmas decor! 

11.  Christmas Nativity Jar-  Fill up a mason jar with these nativity peg dolls for a kid-friendly neighbor gift.  

Meaningful Christmas Gift Ideas.

12.  The Spirit of Christmas Painting-  Greg Olsen’s “The Spirit of Christmas” is one of my very favorite paintings.  It would make a beautiful gift, especially paired with the matching poem.

13.  Angels of Christmas Painting-  I just had to include another of Greg Olsen’s beautiful paintings. It’s a gift that is sure to be treasured as it is pulled out each Christmas.

14.  Gifts of the Wisemen-  Give some gold, frankincense, and myrrh- just like the wiseman gave the Christ child.  

15.  Countdown to Christ’s Birth Block-  This countdown block is so cute, and all you have to do is print and attach to a wooden block. 

16.  Away in a Manger Shadowbox-  Some straw, vinyl, and a shadow box are you all need for this beautiful Christ-centered gift.

17.  M&M Nativity Story-  Package up some Christmas M&Ms along with this fun M&M Christmas story.

18.  The Christmas Nail-  All you need for this gift is a simple nail and the accompanying poem to remind loved ones that He is the reason for the season.  

19.  The Innkeepers Key-  This brass skeleton key represents the Innkeeper’s key.  Friends and family can read the accompanying poem and add the key to their key-ring as a reminder that they are the only one who can unlock the door and let Christ into their life.

20.  The Star of Bethlehem-  Just add the printable to a star ornament to let friends know that “Like the star of bethlehem, you can lead others to Christ.”

21.  Nativity Nuggets-  Just add the printable wrappers to Hershey nuggets.  

22.  The Legend of the Candy Cane-  Simple candy canes can make a meaningful gift when paired with the legend of the candy cane.

You might also be interested in reading “The 5 Gifts of Meaning.”  It’s a great reminder this holiday season.

 

11. Start Your Own Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

Meaningful Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions for Families

Almost all of my favorite childhood Christmas memories come from cherished family traditions.  And now that I have a family of my own, we love creating our own together.  Here are…

15 Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

1.  Act Out the Nativity- This is one of our very favorite Christmas Eve traditions.  You can purchase costumes online or just make your own from thrift store finds or items around the house.  

2.  Visit a Live Nativity Scene-  There’s something about seeing real people, instead of statues and figurines that makes the story come alive to children.  

3.  Have a Birthday Party for JesusHelp your children remember the real reason behind it all by throwing your own family birthday party for Jesus.  You can make a cake, sing “Happy Birthday”, and even put up some birthday decorations. 

4.  Send a letter FROM Santa about the Real Reason for the SeasonIf you want to incorporate the fun of Santa but still keep the focus on Jesus, here’s a fun letter you can send your children.

5.  Write a Christmas letter to the Savior-  Get together as a family to write letters to the Savior, letting him know what your birthday gift to Him will be this year.

6.  Make “Gift to Christ” Ornaments-  Or instead of writing a letter, you can make these darling “Gift to Christ” ornaments.  Just write your gift to Christ on the chalkboard side before hanging them on the tree as a reminder.

7.  Put up a “Jesus Stocking”-  I love the idea of having a “Jesus Stocking.”  There are so many different options.  You can put your letters to the Savior inside, fill it with acts of service, or fill it with spare change and money throughout the season to gift to another family on Christmas day.  

8.  Go on a Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt-  While going out to look at Christmas lights, print out this family nativity scavenger hunt and see how many you can find.

9.  Put Thank You Notes in the Mailboxes of Homes Who Display a Nativity- Here’s another fun idea while you’re out looking at the Christmas lights- put a thank note in the mailboxes of all the homes that display a nativity in their yard. 

10.  Memorize the Christmas Story in the Bible, Luke 2:1-21Here’s a fun Christmas games to help the kids memorize the Christmas story.  All you need are index cards, markers, and a copy of the Christmas story as told in Luke.  

11.  Have a Bethlehem dinner-  Transport your family to Bethlehem and eat a dinner that Mary and Joseph might have eaten on that first Christmas Eve.  You can even turn off the lights and enjoy your meal by candlelight.  

12.  Set a place setting for Jesus as the guest of honor at your Christmas dinner-  Set a place of honor at your Christmas dinner table as a reminder of His presence.  

13.  Talk about the symbols of ChristmasThis miniature Christmas symbols kit is a great idea for teaching your children real reason for the season.  

14.  Put up a Scripture Christmas Tree-  Make meaningful scripture ornaments together as a family to decorate your own scripture tree.  

15.  Make Shepherds Pouches-  I love this sweet service-minded idea.  Instead of stockings, hang shepherds pouches.  Whenever someone is “caught” serving, money is placed inside.  On Christmas Eve all the money is counted and together you buy something for someone in need.  

You might also be interested in this printable with 25 Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions!

 

12. Focus on “Giving” instead of “Getting”

10 Ways to Help Your Kids Focus on GIVING Instead of GETTING

It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of the presents they’ll receive on Christmas morning.  But Christmas is also a wonderful time to teach about the importance of service and giving.  Here are… 

10 Ideas for Christ-Centered Christmas Service

Fun Ideas for Acts of Christmas Kindness

1.  Service Straw Manger-  Place an empty manger under the Christmas tree.  Each time you do an act of service, add a piece of straw.  By the time Christmas comes, the manger should be full of straw so that baby Jesus will have a soft bed.  

2.  Christmas Jars-  Read the book “Christmas Jars” as a family.  Then fill your own Christmas jar with change throughout the season to give to a family in need.

3.  Santa’s Secret Service-  Here’s a wonderfully fun way to get the kids in the giving spirit, enroll them in Santa’s secret service!  

4.  Random Acts of Kindness Holiday List-  Instead of focusing on what they will be getting, help the kids think about what they can give with random acts of kindness.  

5.  Random Acts of Christmas Kindness-  Take the family on a Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Scavenger Hunt and spread some holiday cheer.

6.  12 Days of Christmas Kindness-  Instead of giving 12 days of Christmas gifts- try doing 12 days of Christmas kindness.  

7.  25 Days of ServiceCount down to Christmas together by doing an act of service each day.  

8.  Christmas Service Star-  A fun family tradition to start in your family.  When you’re anonymously served you’ll find the star, and it’s your turn to do something for someone else in the next 24 hours.  

9.  The Twelve Days of Giving Quests-  A great way to keep the Christmas spirit, even after Christmas.  On Christmas morning a line of twelve stockings appears.  Each stocking has a giving quest for the family complete together.  

10.  Light ‘Em Up-  Free printables to help you light up your community with kindness!

BONUS!  You can download “The Little Book of Christmas Spirit: Small and Simple Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Christmas” by John Hilton III for FREE here!  It’s definitely worth the read.  

And there you have it- 12 ways to help keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations!  Do you have your own ideas and traditions that you do to focus on the real reason for the season?  We’d love to hear them in the comments!!

For more Christmas ideas- make sure to check out our…

 101 Creative Christmas Cards

101 Creative Christmas Cards

AND our 101 Quick and Easy Neighbor Gift Ideas!

101 Christmas Neighbor Gifts

Merry CHRISTmas!

 

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