If you’re anything like me, you’ve only just put your tree up, you still have presents to buy and cards to send. I’m definitely a last-minute shopper, but I also yearn to escape from the consumerism and chaos of Christmas and spend time reflecting on the real reason for the season. I suspect you do too.
One of my hopes for my newest children’s book, Christmas Love Letters from God, is that families might use it as a devotional tool in the week leading up to Christmas.
From Isaiah’s Good News to Wise Men’s Wonder, this book takes readers on a journey through Christmas in seven stories and seven lift-the-flap love letters from God.
My hope is that beginning one week before Christmas, families will set aside some time each night to gather around the Christmas tree and enjoy one story together, ending each one with a prayer.
In addition to using Christmas Love Letters from God, here’s ideas for seven more activities around the Christmas tree, to help families make memories and focus on the real meaning of Christmas:
- Favorite Ornament: Have everyone choose one ornament from the tree that reminds them of Jesus. Take turns to tell each other why you chose that one.
- Bethlehem’s Baby Boy: Download your free color-a-story sheet of Bethlehem’s Baby Boy, from the first Love Letters from God book. Read the story and then color it in.
- Light of The World: Turn off all the lights in the room except the lights on the Christmas tree. Sit quietly for a few minutes as you think and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world.
- Carol Sing: Have everyone choose their favorite carol and sing the first verse together, or listen to it together.
- Candy Canes: Have each family member thread white and red beads alternately onto pipe cleaners and then bend them into the shape of a candy cane to hang on the tree. (It’s also a J for Jesus!)
- DIY Nativity: Download this free nativity scene and cut out figures from Christmas Love Letters from God. Have fun creating your own special scene.
- Favorite Memories: Take turns to share your favorite memories of the year. Now write (or draw) your own letter to God, thanking God for those times. Put each in its own envelope and save them. Next year, open and read them around the tree.