In this age of commercialism, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the focus of Christ in
Christmas for our children. From all the presents to Santa Claus on every corner, it can send a
confusing message. Here are three ways to refocus common commercialized traditions back onto the real reason
for the season.
Makeover #1: Commercial Advent Calendars
Counting down to Christmas is fun, especially if you get a chocolate each day like many favorite
Santa-themed advent calendars. But why not take it a step further? Make or purchase a reusable
advent calendar with slots that will fit a piece of paper. Each day, your child can read a verse
about the Christmas story leading up to Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25th. It’ll be a favorite tradition for
years to come. Here’s a list of verses to get you started.
Makeover #2: Elf on the Shelf
It seems like everyone has these “toys” nowadays, and for younger children, it’s hard not to feel
left out when everyone else has a “Mr. Jingles” who moves every night before they wake. But it
doesn’t have to be a “Santa spy” tradition like many make it out to be. Why not turn the old-
school elf into a “kindness elf” that leaves messages to your child about how to bless others as
God has blessed us this Christmas season? Or, look into the Christian version of Elf on the Shelf,
“The Christmas Angel” which leaves a message for your child each day on how to show love to
Makeover #3: Santa Claus
Whether Santa Claus is a tradition your family loves or something you all choose to stay away
from, there’s no denying it can be a sticky situation for all involved. On one hand, you want to
instill truth into your child and teach them how to have unwavering faith in real things like our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On the other hand, you may not want them to ruin Santa Claus for
other children who believe or even deprive your children of a tradition you loved as a child.
One way to eliminate the drama is to tell the historical story of the real Saint Nicholas, a
Christian who believed in giving to those in need, just as Jesus taught us. Explain that the
tradition of Santa Claus originated from his kindness and then read passages in the Bible together
about how we are to take care of others in need as well (for example: Proverbs 19:17, Hebrews
13:16, Acts 20:35). Together you can get excited about “being” a Santa Claus this Christmas
Have your child pick someone they know that needs something and then help them
deliver it anonymously. They’ll get a firsthand experience of how it’s “better to give than to
receive” while also making the Christmas season more special than ever before.