Christmas is a beautiful time of year and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your family. When I was growing up, my favorite part of preparing for Christmas was the time I spent making decorations with my parents and siblings. We sat together in the warmth of our kitchen, talking and doing crafts.
Christmas should also be a time when children learn about the birth of our Savior and the light of hope He brought into this world. The internet is full of holiday craft ideas, but many are missing the most important part of the season - Jesus. Today I would like to suggest adaptations for classic Christmas crafts for kids that can also be used to teach your children about the meaning of Christmas:
1. Potato stencil wrapping paper. Many of the classic shapes we use at Christmas time are symbolic. The star represents the star the wise men followed to the manger. Evergreen trees are a symbol of hope and rebirth in the middle of winter. Angels remind us of the heavenly choir at Christ’s birth. Why not use these symbols to make your own wrapping paper as you explain their meaning to your children?
You will need: White or solid-colored butcher paper, potatoes and paint.
Cut a potato in half. On each side carve a simple design so that the design is raised up from the rest of the potato. You can also use a cookie cutter to cut the design onto the potato. Once you have the designs you want, pour a little paint onto a paper plate. Let your children dip the potato in the paint and use it to decorate the butcher paper.
2. Christmas tree verse cards. Christmas trees made out of strips of paper are attractive and easy to make. Make your Christmas cards a little more special by writing encouraging Bible verses on the strips of paper.
You will need: Blank cards or cardstock, multi-colored strips of paper, glue and scissors.
Ask your children to cut out strips of colored paper in different lengths. Together, choose three to five Bible verses that will bless others at Christmas and write each of them on a different strip of paper. Glue the strips onto the card with the longer strips at the bottom of the page and the shorter ones at the top to make a tree shape. Make sure the strips with the Bible verses are visible.
3. Angel wing ornaments. When Jesus was born, a heavenly host announced his birth to the shepherds with songs of praise. Tell your children this story and make these ornaments together.
You will need: Cardstock, scrapbook paper or an equivalent and white string.
Glue a piece of paper with a design of your choice onto the cardstock. I like using sheet music from Christmas hymns. Use a template and trace the angel wings lightly onto the cardstock. Ask your children to cut out the wings. Attach the wings to a piece of string using a needle. Tie the string in a loop. You have a beautiful ornament!
4. Blessing in a bottle tree ornament. Christmas is a good time to remember the reasons that we are blessed. This ornament will be a permanent reminder of those blessings when you use it to decorate your house.
You will need: Small glass bottles with cork stoppers , small pieces of paper, pens and string.
Ask your children what they are thankful for. Help them to write down their blessings on small pieces of paper. Roll up the papers and put them inside the bottles. Cork the bottles. Tie the string to the bottle and tie it in a loop. Now you can keep your record of blessings for years to come.
5. Nativity candle jar. Candles and light remind us that Jesus came as the light of the world. This craft is an adaptation of a Christmas Township Candle Jar . I suggest that instead of decorating the jar with a township you decorate it with nativity cutouts. While you are crafting, tell your children the Christmas story.
You will need: Round glass jar, pattern for a nativity silhouette, black paper, spraycan snow and a candle.
Trace the nativity silhouettes onto the black paper in pencil. Help your children to carefully cut out each piece. Glue each piece carefully to the outside of the jar. Add a light misting of fake snow to lightly coat the outside of the jar. Place the candle inside and light it for a beautiful nativity display.
As you ready your house for Christmas, we hope that you are blessed by remembering that we are all celebrating the advent of Jesus Christ .