Instilling the Spirit of Christmas in Your Kids

In the midst of all the shopping, all the parties and all the decorating, it is hard to find the time to stop and reflect on what this holiday season is about. But take a minute to share with your children about the birth of Christ and how it reflects our charge to love one another.

Start with something small as an illustration, such as a nativity scene. Place one in your home and let your children know what it represents. Or read them the Christmas story from a book or the Bible. Let them know that while gifts can be a fun part of Christmas, they are not the purpose of the holiday. Christmas is a time of remembrance for the birth of Christ. That's right -- it's a big birthday celebration. Consider incorporating this point into your Christmas activities. Many people have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Day as a way to celebrate, while others gather presents to give to the needy as a way to honor the holiday.

Once your children understand the reason behind the holiday, help them understand its spirit. As the life of Christ provides the example, share with your children the importance of loving other people, of selflessly helping those in need and of living a life of character. Help them to give the gift of service by helping an elderly neighbor mow their lawn or shovel snow from their driveway. Help a single mother get her Christmas shopping done by having her kids stay at your house for the day. Invite a military family whose loved one is deployed over for holiday dinner. Visit a local children's hospital or nursing home.

There are always opportunities around us to help someone, and teaching your children the value of compassion and love is the best gift you could give them this Christmas.

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