With the end of the year fast approaching, there is so much to be thankful for. The warm weather is here and with it, longer days and balmy nights. It means more time together, the chance to reflect on a year full of growth and change, enjoy school holidays and of course, Christmas.

As a child, I remember waiting with anticipation and excitement all year for Christmas to come. I love Christmas. From the parties at school to the family get togethers, there is always a joy that fills the air. As I’ve grown into an adult with my own children, I seek to recreate memories I had as a child. My husband and I try to bring what we grew up with into the lives of our children as well as create new memories. We want to have traditions. When we are old and grey and our kids are grown, we want to hear them sit around and tell their children about the fun and memorable things we shared. It’s a legacy we are passing on and the Christmas story is one of the most important ones.

Here are some of my tips on sharing the Christmas story with your child this year:

The gift of time and love 

No matter how you share the Christmas story, remember to allow yourself enough time to share and enjoy the Christmas story from beginning to end. Jesus’ birth was a momentous event ­– be sure to tell it with humility and honesty. It isn’t a story to be glossed over.

The best way to teach children about the real meaning of Christmas, while still allowing the excitement of the season to flow, is to talk to them about what took place over two thousand years ago. Emphasis on celebrating the holidays in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ will help your children begin to see the correlation between the birth of Christ and the giving of gifts to Him and the giving of gifts at Christmas.

Read the number one best seller of all time

Everyone loves a great story and there are so many ways to share them. There is something about reading a great book; it nourishes the heart and the mind. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time and features the Christmas Story. Even if you haven’t read it, I’m sure you have heard it, as millions of people talk about it every year.

Over the years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to share the Christmas story with countless number of children, mine included. Our starting place has always been to read from The Beginner’s Storybook Bible and will often enjoy re-enacting it in a range of creative ways. To me, there is nothing better than reading the Christmas story with the people you love. If you have not read it for yourself, can I encourage you to read the full story of Jesus’ birth and the events surrounding it in the Bible, found in the books of Matthew and Luke, chapters one and two.

It’s all in your tree 

Each year our tree takes pride of place in our home. One of our family traditions is to spend time together decorating the tree. It’s so exciting to see the Christmas story so proudly displayed through our tree. Have you ever thought about it? Christmas trees are often an evergreen tree – their colour represents new life and their needles typically point heaven-bound. They symbolize our everlasting life with Jesus. The star that placed on the top of the tree, we know as the North Star which guided the three wise men to the baby Jesus. The star is a heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long ago and the shining hope for humanity. Angels on our tree represent the angel who appeared to the shepherds working in the field to announce the birth of Jesus. The ornaments on our tree are many, each one helps to remind us of the blessings in our lives and they are carefully chosen. Our lives would not be complete without blessings!

Our tree would never be finished if we didn’t have a candy cane or two. This treat represents the shape of a shepherd’s crook. Jesus is often referred to as the Good Shepard. The traditional colours of the candy cane remind us that the red stripe represents blood – Christ’s sacrifice on the cross – and the white stands for His purity.

The Christmas story would not be complete if we did not acknowledge Jesus’ crucifixion. Our home is ready for Christmas when we place our wreath at the front door. Its circular shape symbolizes never-ending eternal love and rebirth. Today, it also symbolizes generosity, giving, and the gathering of family.

May you and your family be blessed this Christmas. May you all cherish the wonderful memories, of love, care and hope. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Written by Tanya Johansson

Year 1 Teacher