The True Meaning of Christmas

child and Nativity

What parts of Christmas do we bring into our Mission Friends classrooms at church? There are so many aspects to celebrating Christmas: shopping, gifts, cookies, candies, parties, ornaments, decorations, trees, lights, Santa, elves, snowmen, and greeting cards. There is such cuteness revolving around these aspects of Christmas, it can be easy to leave out the very meaning of Christmas. How do we focus on celebrating that God sent His Son, Jesus? How do we include some of the fun aspects of Christmas while teaching preschoolers about Jesus’ birth? The points below give suggestions for being intentional about teaching preschoolers the true meaning of Christmas.

  • Tell parts of the Christmas story from Luke 2:1–20 during each session. Look for preschool books that tell the true story. I even found a board book at a discount store that told the Christmas story in simple words.

  • Teach the story of Jesus’ birth by using a non-breakable Nativity in your classroom. Allow preschoolers to move the pieces around while listening to the story and retelling the story. Use the Nativity Finger Puppet Set, a plastic or wooden Nativity set, or do a computer search for a printable paper Nativity set.

  • Say simple Bible thoughts about Jesus’ birth: Jesus was born in Bethlehem (see Matt. 2:1), and God loved us and sent his Son (see 1 John 4:10). Repeat these during Mission Friends sessions throughout December. Print one of the Bible thoughts on preschoolers’ artwork.

  • Sing Christmas songs about Jesus’ birth, such as “Away in a Manger.” Sing the following song from Sing to the Tune:

            Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem

            (Tune: “The Mulberry Bush”)

            Jesus was born in Bethlehem,

            Bethlehem, Bethlehem.

            Jesus was born in Bethlehem

            on Christmas morning.

  • Collect used Christmas cards that depict the story of Jesus’ birth. Use the cards in the Homeliving area of the classroom for preschoolers to pretend to send. Make a booklet for the Books area, using pictures from the cards. Talk about the Christmas story as shown on the cards.

  • Help your preschoolers discover the joy of giving. Involve your Mission Friends in making something for others or giving something to others. The Helping Others activities suggested for December (see Mission Friends Leader, p.10), are excellent ideas for involving preschoolers in giving to others.

  • Use teachable moments throughout the month to talk about the Christmas story. Listen for times to say thank you to God for loving us and sending His Son, Jesus. 

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