The Wise Men Journey

The 10 Best Christ-centered Christmas Traditions for families!

The 10 Best Christ-centered Christmas Traditions for families!

The 10 Best Christ-centered Christmas Traditions for families!

 Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….

Cinnamon candles, hot chocolate, cozy warm socks, and Christmas music playing softly while twinkling lights shine bright on the tree...

Christmas is coming!

The most wonderful time of the year for we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior - Jesus, the King of kings!

Being a parent brings the wonderful privilege of teaching our kids the TRUE MEANING of Christmas, especially in this world we’re living in. 

Truth is not always the most popular route to go, but as a Christian mom, I want my kids to know that there’s always excitement in the Truth and that EVERY DAY IS A GIFT FROM THE LORD.

1. The Wise Men Journey

This is by far our most favorite Christ-centered Christmas Tradition! 

This ADVENT TREASURE HUNT reveals the authentic Christmas story over 25 days.

It starts on December 1st, where you join the Wise Men on an evening journey to discover a new TREASURE WORD every night before bedtime. 

Parents would hide the Wise Men figurines and the treasure word, (there’s a new one every evening) for the kids to discover before reading the 25-day devotional as a family. You can either hang the treasure word as a Christmas tree decoration, or from your mantlepiece (jute string included) - a wonderful way of counting down to Christmas!

Each devotional is like a puzzle piece adding to the Christmas story every night. It is such a joy as a parent seeing our children filled with anticipation and excitement to hear the next part of the Christmas story! The two little mice hiding in each illustration, will catch the attention of the youngest in the family. Older siblings can read the story or interact with the question part of the devotional, while new readers can take turns reading the prayer. 

Our kids love hide-and-seek games, especially when some chocolate-covered coins are involved…  just saying! 

The Wise Men Journey is a wonderful way to get the whole family involved, mostly for coming together after a long and busy day and being intentional about why we celebrate Christmas.

Although it’s a 25-day devotional, I love that each devotional is not super long, making catch-up very easy if you skipped a night. 

Another fun activity that The Wise Men Journey has, is the 25 hand-drawn coloring pages that complement each day’s treasure word. This way, your kids can be creative while coloring Scripture and memorizing the Word, AND the pages can actually be used for your next year’s  Wise Men Journey!

I have a special discount code just for you, if you’d love to join The Wise Men Journey on December 1st.

Go to https://wisemenjourney.com/ and use the discount code: THANKFUL to enjoy a 15% discount only on THE WISE MEN JOURNEY "suitcase".

 

 2. Sending Christmas cards to the elderly 

Remember we just spoke about the coloring pages from The Wise Men Journey? Well, those could be your beautiful Christmas Cards mailed to an elderly friend at a nursing home - especially during this last difficult year where people either had to be isolated, or be far away from loved ones. Everyone can be blessed by encouraging words, letting them know how valuable they are. Sharing the LOVE OF JESUS with them can be as simple as sending a coloring page completed with Scripture and a personal note.

Purchase these beautiful coloring pages at WiseMenJourney.com


3. Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

Overwhelmed with ALL the gifts under the Christmas tree that your kids might not even really need? Well, here is a wonderful way to teach your kids that it’s better to GIVE than to RECEIVE!

Samaritan’s Purse is a great organization to get the whole family involved to be intentional about the true meaning of Christmas, through the CHRISTMAS CHILD SHOEBOXES.

God GAVE His Son because He loves us, so we get the opportunity to follow His example of giving to those we love, and those in need.

Every year thousands of shoeboxes are donated by families - people like you and me who love to share the GOSPEL OF JESUS, with kids in need all over the world... children who won’t receive gifts on Christmas Day because of poverty, but you can make a difference in their lives, today!

This is a wonderful tradition to teach our kids that Christmas is not just about what you receive, but rather what you can give. We get to share the biggest LOVE STORY OF JESUS who came into the world to be our LORD and SAVIOR - bringing HOPE to the hopeless and being the LIGHT in the darkness. 

You can also be a volunteer at one of the processing centers (there are eight in the USA), donating your time and being a blessing to a child in need.

The amazing journey of a simple Shoebox Gift begins with you!

National Collection Week is NOVEMBER 15-22, 2021

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ 

 

4. Build a gingerbread stable

Who said you had to build a gingerbread house? 

Why not a stable? 

Our family loves getting creative, especially if icing and cookies are involved! So, every year instead of building a gingerbread house, we love building a gingerbread stable to help us be more intentional about the true meaning of Christmas. 

We read in Luke 2:6-7, that

“. . . while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snuggly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them.”

We would get creative and buy cookies that can be used as stable building material, as we haven’t found a ready-built gingerbread stable yet! 

It is such a fantastic way to spend time with your kids in the kitchen, having fun while creating a magical gingerbread stable. Usually, it will only last a day or two before some of the cookies start disappearing with our afternoon tea-time!

 

 

5. Candlelight service

Growing up in South Africa, the Christmas church service was on Christmas Day! Now that we live in Kansas, USA, we love to attend the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. 

It’s a wonderful time to fellowship with other Christ-followers, singing together songs like  “Joy to the world” and “Oh, Holy night”. At the end of the service, all lights would be turned off, with only ONE candle burning in the front of the church, representing the LIGHT OF JESUS. 

John 1:9 says; 

The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

Everyone would hold their own little unlit candle in the dark, while the pastor would light his candle from the CHRIST CANDLE and share it with the people next to him.

Then, they would share the LIGHT with those around them. If you’re standing all the way in the back of the church - which is a great spot to have on this particular night - you’d see the sanctuary brightening up as the LIGHT OF JESUS is shared between people!

We read in 1 John 1:5b “God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all.”

Then, everyone would join in singing “Silent Night” to celebrate that JESUS came to this world for us. 

John 1:14 says;

“So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”



6. Decorate the Christmas tree as a family

This is a classic, fun tradition! Every year we would buy a small Christmas ornament (usually a beautiful cross) to represent each person celebrating Christmas with us in our home, and write their name and date on the back. While decorating our tree, we take time and remember all the previous Christmases with our dear family and friends. So, every year our tree is blessed with a few more keepsakes that we can cherish for years to come. Obviously, as our kids get a little older, they choose their own personal ornament - usually something that reminds us of either their birthday theme or something they enjoyed doing that year. This way we can keep track of beautiful memories becoming part of us. 

 

7. Basket of treats for the delivery people

Don’t forget your UPS, Amazon, and mail deliverers! 

Leave a basket of snacks and drinks at your front door with a Christmas sign that says: 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thank you so much for delivering our packages this Christmas Season. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you. 

May He shine His face upon you, and give you peace. 

Please take a snack and drink as a token of our appreciation for your hard work. 

Blessings to you!

What a wonderful way to share the LOVE OF JESUS with people around us, especially those serving us. I know it’s their job, but still, on cold days while everyone else might be spending time with family and friends during the Christmas Season, they are working overtime.

 

 

8. Write appreciation notes for each other

Now that our girls are a little older, they participate in writing appreciation notes to each member of the family. This is a wonderful tradition to allow time in our day to intentionally appreciate each other. 

We have this small advent wooden house with little drawers and numbers on it. On December 1st, everyone gets 25 small note cards to write what they appreciate about the others.

Then, we fold it up and place it inside each little drawer. 

Every night after dinner we get to open that day’s drawer to read the appreciation notes. It’s truly a blessing to parents to hear their kids love and appreciate each other. It is also a meaningful time for them to reflect on appreciating their siblings more often.

 

 

9. Christmas Book unwrapping

Who doesn’t love a beautiful, illustrated Christmas Book?

For this fun Christmas tradition, you wrap 25 Christmas Books!

You can either go to your local library to check out some Christmas books (but rather go alone because it’s supposed to be a surprise!), or you can use your favorite Christmas books in your home collection.

Then allow the kids to unwrap one book every evening for family storytime, while you enjoy a cup of tea. 

A few of our favorite Christmas books are:

  1. The Wise Men Journey searching for The King by Lynette Meintjes

  2. Christmas Cricket by Eve Bunting

  3. Bear stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  4. Humphrey's First Christmas  by Carol Heyer
  5. God Gave Us Christmas (God Gave Us Series) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

 10. Enjoy an outdoor Nativity walk

This is a fun and adventurous Christmas Tradition for the whole family, especially because it is an outdoor activity. The only thing is that you always hope for good weather, because where we live in Kansas it can get pretty cold around December!

Do a Google Search for: OUTDOOR NATIVITY NEAR ME and you might be surprised to find one close to you. We have attended one twice now, and it’s always a special experience for everyone. You start the evening by meeting Noah, then Abraham, and hearing of all the beautiful promises that God made with Abraham. Then, how the angel visited Mary and spoke to Joseph in his dream. There’s usually traditional Christmas music playing, making it all so very real. It usually ends with the angels proclaiming the news of GREAT JOY to the shepherds and how they find Baby Jesus laying in the manger. 

It is truly a very special moment to share with your kids while walking through a live outdoor nativity. 


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So dear friends, may you be blessed this Christmas season while enjoying lots of wonderful family traditions to celebrate the TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS - JESUS, THE KING OF KINGS!

Blessings to you all!

Lynette Meintjes 

















 




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