With all the media hype about Black Friday, your preschooler is probably confused about the true meaning of Christmas. In fact, many adults tend to forget.
Christmas is not about getting what you want, or even about getting what you need. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of a Savior, Jesus Christ, according to the books of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. We celebrate through giving, just as the Magi gave gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).
Get back to basics. Start with history, which can be presented to your preschooler through storytelling, reading a book, watching a video, watching a live play, or participating in a nativity scene.
When setting out your nativity scene, explain to your preschooler what each piece means. Explain who the characters are and tell about the scenery. Start with Mary and the angel, who told her that she had a baby in her belly. Bring in Joseph, who took her to the manger to give Jesus shelter, because there was no space available at the Inn (Luke 2:7). Finish with the Magi, explaining that they brought gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus, who would save us from our sins.
Expect questions and be prepared to answer.
Reading a book
Find a good children’s Bible with pictures. You can also go to the Dollar Store and pick up a small children’s picture book about the birth of Jesus Christ. A good time to read to your preschooler is right before time to go to sleep, such as nap time or bed time. Lie down beside of your preschooler and read the book, pointing to match words with pictures. This helps your child to relax. It is also an educational and bonding experience.
Watch a video
One favorite video for teaching about the Christmas story is A Charlie Brown Christmas. In a play of the nativity, the character, Linus, recites the story of the birth of Jesus, through Luke 2:8-14.
Watch a live play
Go to your local church and watch a live play of the nativity scene, or walk through a living nativity scene, such as one displayed at a local church, or at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.
Participate in a live nativity scene
Get involved in a church, which has an active children’s ministry and allows your preschooler to participate in a live nativity scene. This is one great way to help your preschooler begin to learn the traditional Christmas songs that celebrate the birth of Christ and to learn about why we give at Christmas.