Christmas Is Coming!

It was getting closer to Christmas and in our Mission Friends session, one of our three-year-olds fell asleep. He was sitting at the table working on the art activity. I was helping preschoolers at another table and when I turned back to him, his head was down on the table. He was out – asleep.

When preschoolers come to Mission Friends during December, they have probably been going non-stop. Sugar levels are up and sleep levels are down. Thinking of this little one with his head down asleep reminded me of a few things for us to keep in mind in our Mission Friends groups, especially at this time of year.

  • Remember that preschoolers’ schedules may be off during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some days they might not get their nap, or they may have been up late at night. Preschoolers may be extra tired, so have an extra bit of patience if they seem irritable or sluggish.
  • Be conscious of the kinds of treats you give your Mission Friends. It seems there are more candy, cookies, and cupcakes with lots of icing during the Christmas season. Remember that preschoolers are taking in more of these sugary snacks than usual, so plan more healthy items if you give your Mission Friends a snack.
  • Try to keep your regular schedule in Mission Friends. Keep the routine of your sessions as much as possible so preschoolers know what is happening next. This will help cut down on their stress level.
  • Use books and activities at church that focus on Jesus’ birth rather than fantasy such as elves.
  • Encourage Mission Friends to give to missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Help preschoolers understand that the offering is used to tell others around the world about Jesus. Place the focus on giving so others can hear about Jesus.
  • Lead your Mission Friends to do something for others. Do a Helping Others activity suggested in Mission Friends Leader, make cards to send to this month’s missionaries, or make something to give to your pastor’s family.
  • Take the moments needed to show your preschoolers that Christmas is about love and giving. We become so wrapped up in helping our preschoolers make clever craft items and giving trinkets at Christmas. Make sure that you take the time needed to give a hug, hold a preschooler’s hand, or smile as you really listen to a preschooler. Through the love that you show, your preschoolers will learn that God loved us so much He gave His Son.

By Joye Smith, national WMU Preschool consultant


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