WT 037: How Do I Teach My Kids the Importance of Christmas?

by Karen Stubbs | Birds on a Wire | Wire Talk Podcast

Christmas Day is when we celebrate the birth of our lord and savior. If you are like my family, we go to church on Christmas and hear the story of the birth of Jesus and the importance of the human race. However, sometimes through gifts and Santa your kids can lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.  As moms, we are all guilty of trying to make sure our children receive this year’s latest toy or gadget; we forget to teach them the importance of Christmas along the way. Listen to today’s episode where Karen answers your questions on How Do I Share the Importance of Christmas with my Kids?

Question 1: Karen, my kids are obsessed with everything related to Christmas gifts. They start making their lists for Santa in July and talk about all the toys they are getting. I didn’t realize it was an issue until last year when my son’s Sunday school class had to draw “the meaning of Christmas” and every little kid drew a picture of Jesus and mine drew a stocking and gifts. All the other moms were laughing hysterically, but I was dying of embarrassment. How do I inject a little Jesus into the season?

Karen’s Answer: First off,  I love your honesty! Thank you! Secondly, I’m sure your children are not the only ones that are obsessed with gifts.  Who isn’t if we are honest with ourselves. 🙂

What to do? I would consider doing a few things. You could think about cutting down on their Christmas gifts.  I know, you are probably cringing right now, but sometimes we have to do the hard things to make the biggest impact.  You might be giving your children too much. Materialism is like sugar, the more you get the more you want. Your children, are just doing what comes natural to all of us.  Next, I would buy some gifts for needy children along with your child, or have your child pick an item off of their list to Santa, go to the store and buy the gift then give it away.

If you want to bring more Jesus into the season, then do just that. Read the Christmas story in Luke 2 to your children and talk about it as a family.  Talk about why the wise men brought gifts, why were the angels rejoicing, why was it such a big deal that Mary had Jesus in a stable? (note: you may have to do some research on your own, so if the children don’t know you can help them out.

Question 2: What were some holiday traditions you and Greg had for your kids around Christmas? We have a young family and want to build our own traditions with them so I would love to hear some of your ideas!

Karen’s Answer: Don’t stress about it. Traditions will naturally happen. If you have little ones, give yourself a break until they are 5!!!! Moms of littles get a pass! Here are some thing, Greg and I had for our children when they were growing up:

  • Decorating together
  • Playing Christmas music starting after Thanksgiving
  • Wrapping gifts together at the Dining Room table
  • Looking at Christmas lights together
  • Doing our Nativity Scene calendar together.

Question 3: How do I properly set gift expectations with my kids? I feel like we give them a generous Christmas, but of course there are many kids in their class who get cooler and more expensive things. Apparently every kid in my daughters 5th grade class is getting an iPad or an iPhone and I even overheard her telling her friend “I’m still trying to decide which one I want” —I hate to burst her bubble, but she’s not getting either. My son also told me the only thing he wants is a drum set, which he is not getting either. Please help! These are things they don’t put in parenting books!

Karen’s Answer: Properly? I don’t think there is such a thing when it comes to children and gifts. An honest conversation before Christmas is the best way to handle it.  I would say, I know you want ________, I would love to give you that, but I don’t feel you are old enough right now for that and I want you to know you will not be getting it.  Or your ________ cost too much and it’s not in our budget.  I can give you money towards your drum set, if you want. Your choice. Be confident in your decisions as a mom, you know your children, your budget and you know what is best for your family.  Stand strong.

Question 4: Karen, we will be traveling for Christmas and not able to attend Church. Do you have any ideas for a family devotional or conversation questions we can do as a family while we’re in the car? I might be reaching for the stars on this one, but I would like to at least like to try to make the day special and focused on the right thing.

Karen’s Answer: Make the most of your time, even if it’s in the car. You don’t need church to make Christmas real, Jesus is everywhere! 🙂

I remember one Christmas we drove to Statesboro on Christmas morning. Emily and I were in the car together, and Greg had the other children in a second car. But, Emily and I listened to Christmas music and talked about the meaning behind the songs. Specifically the song, Mary did you Know? Just how that must have been for Mary, giving birth to the son of God. Incredible!

Remember, if you have a question about motherhood I want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question. You can also find on us on Facebook, Facebook.com/BOAWmoms to like our page and ask us a question there too.

Thank you moms, have a great day!

Because of people like you, we can have an even greater impact!