I always feel a little irked when Christmas is mentioned before Thanksgiving. But I wanted to share a fun Family Home Evening series that we do for Christmas in time for others who might want to do something similar.
When my oldest was a baby, I decided that I wanted to put more emphasis on Jesus Christ at Christmastime than I had experienced in my own family or in the world around me. So when Grasshopper was almost 2yo, we started a tradition in which we stretch our Nativity activity over a series of 4 Family Home Evenings beginning the first Monday after Thanksgiving.
The first Monday, we put up the stable, and in a separate location we put Mary and Joseph with their donkey traveling to that stable in Bethlehem. In the second week, we move Mary and Joseph to the stable, put the baby Jesus in the manger, and put the shepherds in a separate location, in the field with their sheep. The angel is with the shepherd announcing the birth of Jesus. The third week, the angel is put away, and the shepherds visit the Baby. In the fourth and final week, the stable is put away, Jesus' family returns home, and the wise men visit the family in their home and presents them with their gifts. Then our family exchanges our gifts with each other.
I have outlined some accompanying scriptures and songs that can be used in a blog post entitled Keeping Christ in Christmas. With little ones, it is a great way for them to learn the Nativity story and talk about it all week.
Last year, I had planned to invite all of our friends to join us. We had a great time the first week, but unfortunately our whole family got sick, including pneumonia for the then 2yo Cricket. So I am hoping to do better this year.
What traditions does your family have that helped you to keep Christ in Christmas?