What are some things you think of as you start hearing Christmas music and seeing the glittery trees and wreaths in the mall? During the holidays there are so many signs and symbols that remind us of our Savior. Not all of them were originally Christian in origin, but as a follower of Jesus I don’t think that life has to be divided up into sacred and secular. After all, God is the Creator, isn’t He? So when I celebrate the birth of His Son the symbols that go along with that celebration automatically make me think of certain attributes of God. And they are good pictures to use to explain to our kids what we are really celebrating at Christmas time.
The Christmas Tree. Evergreen that it is, of course makes me think of God’s eternal-ness. And the fact that we chop down the tree and put it in a stand in our living room where it sort of takes on a life of its own for the season - that is but a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Lights. The first decoration we put on our tree is the lights. Once they are all working and hung (an act of God in itself!), how can these shining little points of light not remind me that God Himself is Light, and that in the beginning, He created light for us to have in this world? And the lights that we blend with the garland on the stairs, and the glow of the candles that are burning on the dining room table….When we turn off the house lights, hasn’t an atmosphere of beauty been created? We worship a God of beauty. This is a great way for our children to experience just a small part of His beauty.
Candy Canes. One of the ornaments we hang on our tree is candy canes. The colors give us an easy visual way to explain to our children that the reason Jesus was born was to pour out his blood for us (red) and that He can make our hearts pure and clean (white) for our heavenly Father.
Bells. I’ve always liked the Christmas song “Silver Bells”. In the Old Testament (Exodus 28) Aaron, the priest, wore bells on part of his clothing as he entered the Holy Place to atone for the sins of the people. Tell your kids this story and explain that the reason Jesus was born was to be our High Priest. Celebrating Christmas is a huge celebration that Jesus, our High Priest, has atoned for our sin once and for all. Painting this picture in the minds and hearts of your kids will remind them of what Jesus has done for them as they hear the bells at Christmas time.
It seems that the signs of the season come earlier and earlier each year. But that’s okay. Because it’s never too soon to start talking to our kids about the real meaning of the birth of Christ.