This year we've been working to emphasize to our 4 littlies the gift of Christ in our lives during the Christmas season, instead of focusing on being good so Santa will bring presents. Still, Santa's name has been popping up more than I would wish. One night as I was getting into bed I had an idea that I quickly wrote down. We used it as our lesson for Family Home Evening last night and it went over really well!
First, I held up a picture of a door I drew on a piece of paper. This door was covering a picture behind it. I said, "Pretty soon we might have a special guest visit our house. You never know! I'm going to give some clues that describe this person and you guess who it is." The clues included:
- he sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good.
- he has a beard and a kind face
- he spent his life giving to others
- he's often pictured in red and/or white clothes
- he loves little children
- he gives the very best gifts
- you can never see him, but you can feel him
- he gives us a wonderful, special warm feeling
- he can get into our homes even if the doors are locked
- he has special, wonderful powers
- we want to give gifts back to him, but he doesn't need anything we could buy; he just wants us to give to other people. (My kids have been talking about giving a present to Santa.)
- I ended with, "He encourages us to be good so we will be ready when he comes."
The kids all excitedly shouted "Santa!" Then I had the youngest come and open the door to welcome our guest into our home.
We used this image from the Gospel Art Book. (You could use any number of pictures, including Christ in a Red Robe, The Second Coming, Christ and Children Around the World, etc. I just made sure he was wearing red and white.)
The kids all gasped in amazement that I was actually describing Jesus - there are so many similarities! We discussed how each description applied to both Jesus and Santa, and then we talked about how Santa is actually a symbol for Jesus, and everything we love about Santa is really everything we love about Jesus. We can be reminded of Jesus through many different symbols during the Christmas season, and we mentioned a few - candy canes, giving gifts, stars on the tree, etc.
We looked at a few more pictures of Jesus and even a picture of Santa kneeling at the manger to discuss how Jesus is the greatest gift. It was a very enjoyable and memorable lesson. Now the youngest keeps wanting to open the door and let Jesus in - and we let him!
Tami Greene is a homeschooling mom of 4, a wife, a BYU grad, a former journalist, a Canadian, a reader, a learning enthusiast, a lover of all things baby. She can't believe she is blogging instead of finishing her numerous Christmas sewing projects :)