As sparkle season and happy holidays surround us on all sides, teaching our homeschoolers the true meaning of Christmas can be especially challenging. After all, advertisements for shiny new dolls and videogames bombard them for weeks before the big morning. Overspending abounds during the holiday season. How can we break this cycle of poor financial management, selfishness, and guilt?
The most effective way to instill a full understanding of the meaning of Christmas is to approach them from a young age with things that they understand. Some Christian homeschool families have Happy Birthday Jesus cakes to celebrate Christs birth during the Christmas season. Reading the first two chapters of Luke are a great way to introduce your children to the Christmas story. Our family reads this each year on Christmas morning before we open presents.
Always make sure to focus on the act of giving in tandem with the act of receiving. Encouraging your homeschoolers to make family members gifts, paying special attention to the individual creative abilities of your children, can give them an understanding of giving. Make sure to always react gratefully with plenty of thank-yous in front of your children.
When your homeschoolers are giving and receiving gifts, remind them that Baby Jesus grew into a man that would eventually give us the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to live eternally in heaven with Him. You can touch on this again during the Easter season, recalling back to your Christmas lesson.
Its important not to go overboard with gifts I have heard from so many parents who cannot think of what to give their children. It is often because their kids already have so much stuff! How can we possibly hope to surprise them with something new and exciting? Focusing too much on buying and receiving will cause your homeschoolers to forget what exactly we are celebrating. A few thoughtful gifts should be sufficient. You can also set spending limits to ensure that your children realize that its not the price tag that counts.
I try to encourage my children to take part in some good old-fashioned Christmastime charity. Have your kids volunteer at a soup-kitchen on Christmas Eve. You could also consider participating in Operation Christmas Child or an Angel Tree program. Allow your children to have an active role. Then, reinforce the idea that such goodwill should not be limited to Christmas, but should continue throughout the year.
Lastly, remind your Christian homeschoolers each Christmas that the real gift of salvation, that of redemption, was not gained by us being good for goodness sake. Rather, we received the gift despite our sinful nature. It is the one gift we never could deserve, but in Gods grace and mercy, He bestowed it upon us lovingly.