Just as Tai’s 3rd birthday was a whole lot more fun to prep for than the last few…. so it has been with Christmas this year! Now I am a big lover of Christmas time – I love the lights, I love the trees, I love the gifts, I love to have family traditions around Christmas and traditional Christmas meals…. It is the most wonderful time of the year!
But of course, Christmas is really about so much more than all of those things that I love – we all know about it, yet sometimes neglect to consider the birth of our King Jesus…. and this is what I really wanted to teach Tai this year! She is at an age where she is so receptive to what we teach her so it really was an opportunity waiting for me to grab! We are in that time of her life where we are moulding her little framework and our mission has always been to mould it biblically. We have seen very quickly that the world will teach our girls all about the worldly views of Christmas and it is our job to fill them to the brim with Jesus. So this is what I did…
I went off to woollies and purchased one of their beautiful wooden reindeer advent calendars, stripped it of all chocolate and placed a scripture verse telling of Jesus’ birth inside each draw instead. On the back of each verse I have allocated a nativity craft relating to that particular verse (so on day 1 we made the angel Gabriel, on day 2 we made Mary, today we will make Joseph and then the stable etc.) And by the end of it, Tai will have an entire nativity set which she has made herself. I pulled the scripture verses off of here, and then changed a few to accommodate a toddlers level of understanding.
Now not all of the verses were conducive to crafting so for some I’ve popped one of the chocolates back into the draw, for others I have given her a book or a ‘shine for Jesus’ fridge magnet or I have simply put the name of a Chritmas carol down that we can sing together… I just really wanted it to be about the story of Jesus’ birth and not about chocolate. Tai calls it her ‘Christmas Story Reindeer’ which I love because she doesn’t see it as a ‘sweet/ gift stop’ at all! She has LOVED the crafts each day and it’s been something special for the two of us to do together. The act of making each figurine for the nativity story has also helped her to remember what she has learnt every day.
It’s been a huge success and something that we will do again and again in the years to come. Doing advent this way means that Christmas this year has been a journey rather than just a day. It’s been so much more than just counting down, but rather learning, exploring and enjoying all that God has done for us and what this time of year is really about – it’s been a wonderful time to really focus on teaching Tai all about JESUS.