By Sarah Humphrey
The holidays are upon us in all their splendid, colorful, and beautiful glory. What occurs in the next few months can be settled into a child’s mind for many years to come. Memories are made during this season that will turn into traditions, and those traditions may be handed down for generations to come.
How we spend our holiday season with the children around us will undoubtedly be one of the best investments we make. With a pull toward consumption and over-spending, culture can easily encourage us to go in the direction opposite of Christ. We can be pushed into a hurry mentality, with high emotion, a lot of sugar, and a loss of order, but what kids love most about the holidays is the presence, joy, comfort, and connection that Jesus offers through the celebrations of gratitude and His life.
Here is a list of small, intentional activities that foster connection, joy, and the life of Jesus. You can share these with your child or the children you serve through the holiday season:
- Create a simple, holiday bucket list with your children. What are a few activities or traditions they would like to see fulfilled during this season? Hearing where they want to connect will give you keys to helping them develop their faith walk!
- Think presence over presents! Try reading a story together that celebrates the season, playing a board game that teaches something valuable, or engaging in a form of service that helps kids express the spirit of generosity.
- Get in the kitchen together! Bake bread, cookies, or a sweet treat that can nourish the soul and the body. Give a few to your neighbors or friends!
- Sing a song. The holidays are the perfect time for learning new songs, Christmas carols, and even karaoke!
- Celebrate giving! Choose a day to have your kids do several chores around the house or classroom. Allow them to earn a “star” for each chore. After they’ve helped clean up, have them count all the stars, and then proceed to “buy” a gift for someone else using their earnings.
- Go see the lights! Take an evening to make some hot chocolate, hop in the car, and drive around town looking at holiday lights and decorations.
- Write a few handwritten notes, or color a few pictures for those in nursing homes in your area. During the holidays, it can brighten the day of the residents to find a thoughtful note from a young one!
- Pray more out loud. Allow the time around the table to enhance your prayers, gratitude, and offerings to God during this time of year (and throughout it!).
- Exercise in the cold weather! Go for a crisp walk together with a hat, coat, and scarf and breathe in the frosty air. It not only enhances your mood, but it also increases energy and helps make the inside days run smoother.
- Slow down. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but less is always more. Enjoy the nearness of Jesus, be compassionate with those around you, give to others from the peace in your heart, and celebrate the gift of God in every memory made.
Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, life coach, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. Her education and love for holistic science also leads her to teach small workshops on health, wellness, and creativity. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them. Her latest devotional for tweens, “Solomon Says” releases this November. Until then, you can follow her Instagram @the.table.and.bath!