December is finally here, and that means the Christmas rush is on. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest, and that can make it challenging to help your family stay focused on Jesus.
Here are a few simple ideas to help you recapture breakfast, dinner and bedtime to keep Jesus front and center over the next few weeks.
Breakfast Time: Finding Jesus Game
See this baby Jesus figure? Well, you won’t see him for long. That’s because every night after my kids go to bed, I hide it somewhere in plain sight. Their job is to see who can be the first to find Jesus the next morning. Simple as that.
The Finding Jesus game creates a fun excuse to keep Jesus in the center of our day. Around our breakfast table, you’ll hear phrases like:
- Anyone seen Jesus yet today?
- Better keep an eye out for Him.
- Wonder where He’s going to turn up next?
One of the great things about the Christmas season is that it’s a wonderful time to share with our kids about the birth of Jesus. Our kids need to know, however, that God didn’t just step into our world long ago in Bethlehem. He still steps into our world today, and He usually does it through followers of Jesus like you and me.
Christmas is a great chance to bring Jesus into our everyday lives. That’s why I created this Up, In & Out Christmas prayer activity to help families imitate the life of Jesus throughout the Christmas season.
Remember, Jesus had three primary sets of relationships:
- An Up relationship with His Father God
- An In relationship with the disciples
- An Out relationship with those who didn’t yet know God
As we help our families become more like Jesus, we can use Up, In and Out to copy of the life of Jesus at Christmas and beyond.
Here’s how it works.
Download the Triangle Christmas Printable where you’ll find a variety of Up, In and Out boxes your family can pray over each night in December.
Photo Credit: Lauren Manning via Compfight cc
Want an easy way to get your family praying together in 2014? Hang on to the Christmas cards you receive this season and use them as a fun excuse to pray for others throughout the new year.
Just collect the cards in a box or basket and keep them close to the dinner table. A couple of times a week, let one of your kids pull out a card at random during dinner and take a few minutes to pray over it. Before you know it, your family will have built in a regular rhythm of praying for others. Easy peasy.
Not sure what to pray? Brainstorm with your kids or pick a couple of the following ideas to get you started:
- Pray that they would know how much God loves them.
- Pray that they would hear from God and recognize his voice.
- Pray for physical protection and health.
- Pray for spiritual protection and strength.
- Pray for their relationships (family, friends, work, etc.)
- Pray that the hard things in their life would draw them closer to God.
- Pray that their faith would get bigger.
- Pray that they would have the courage to do what God wants them to do.
- Pray that God would send them fun surprises in their day.
Remember, kids may tune out long, boring prayers and confusing, churchy language so keep the prayers short, simple and real. You want kids to learn to pray like they normally talk so that it becomes a natural part of their day.
Also, try to give everyone a chance to participate without putting anyone on the spot. You may want to take turns by having someone different pray each night or just let anyone who wants to pray go for it.
If you make this a fun part of your dinner tradition, your kids will start to look forward to it and may end up pestering you to keep it going long after the Christmas cards run out.