Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teaching Christmas

"Mom, there's baby Jesus and an angel," my son exclaimed as we drove past an outdoor nativity scene.

"Yes, we need one of those for our house don't we," I said.

Elijah went on, "But, we need a nest for baby Jesus."

"A nest? Oh you mean a manger," I replied.
I've made more of an effort this year to teach my children the meaning of Christmas for us as Christians. This season has so many opportunities to teach valuable messages but it's easy to let them slip by in the busyness of the holiday activities. It's also easy for Santa to steal the show from Jesus too.
So I've tried to talk to the kids about who the people in the nativity scenes are. We've read stories. We drew a picture of the nativity scene as we talked about who was there when Jesus was born. Although, Elijah had to draw himself in the picture too.
Sometimes it's hard for me to teach these religious beliefs to Jaycee. How do you talk about God with someone when there's no visual representation or thing to show them? There are some contrived pictures of Jesus but there isn't a Polaroid of him or some way to concretely describe that Jesus is God's son. I struggle with teaching my faith to her, especially because there isn't a good way to check her understanding of it.
I realized a few months ago that I talk about God and Jesus to Elijah more than Jaycee. I wasn't doing it on purpose, but I guess it was because I could discuss it with Elijah and only tell it to Jaycee. So I started to tell her things like, "Jesus loves you, Jaycee. God sent Jesus to the earth because he cares for you." Just simple statements like that to convey the fundamental message of what it means to be saved.
Does she understand? I don't know. Sometimes I will ask her if she loves Jesus. Sometimes she indicates yes and sometimes she doesn't say anything.

But, she has been pointing to the scenes of Christmas and signing: mom, dad, baby. It's a start. She's learning part of the Christmas story. Maybe next year, we'll make that nest for baby Jesus.

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