‘Dear Eight-Pound, Six-Ounce Newborn Baby Jesus…’
If you’ve ever seen the ridiculous but quite hilarious movie Talladega Nights, you’ll be familiar with this quote. If you haven’t, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was the start of a prayer for many people whose familiarity with Jesus starts and stops at the nativity scene.
Baby Jesus pops his sweet face into view amongst Santa, the Grinch, Christmas trees and naughty elves as the Christmas season gets fully under way, but I want more for my family than Jesus being one small character in a cast of many this Christmas. I want to celebrate Him, talk about Him and discover more about Him as a family, and I know that many people feel the same. Christmas 2020 will be one of the weirdest Christmases in our lifetime, with the usual traditions and celebrations made impossible by the pandemic. So, how do we focus on the real meaning of Christmas as semi-isolated families spending most of our time at home?
There are hundreds of brilliantly cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix and heart-warming adverts from supermarkets, but without the usual carol services, nativities and Church parties, I find that the true meaning of Christmas is being sidelined in our day-to-day life. You may find yourself feeling the same frustration as me – I don’t want it sidelined, I want it front and centre! For me, this starts with opening up conversations and marking this season in our home with celebration and fun.
So, here are three ways that you can begin to do this! These ideas will help you to find ways of uncovering some true Christmas treasure together. The brand-new nativity It’s A Miracle! provides the perfect soundtrack to all of these ideas and can be bought and downloaded here.
- Make the Paper Nativity Scene. Watch our craft videos, download our Shapes Sheet, get everything you need from the Craft Shopping List and you’ll be good to go! Depending on the age of your children, you can make it together, play with it, use it to tell the story, or just display it as a visual reminder. You could even make a movie using these characters that you and your children can narrate or act out. Just as an aside, when I did this with my son, Iron Man joined Gabriel in delivering his messages and there were numerous dinosaurs in the stable – go ahead and make it your own!
Sing the songs! Play them while you make and create, while you bake Christmas treats or write your Christmas cards. The lyrics will quickly make themselves at home in your brain and you’ll all be singing along in no time. These songs are not just cheerful and enjoyable, they tell the story, they drive it home in our hearts and minds and they are REALLY hard to stop singing as you go about your day!
- Have your own stay-at-home Christmas party, even if there are only two of you in the house. Make or dress up in a costume from the nativity story, or if your kids are too cool for that, you can just dress up in something other than the usual lockdown PJs. Have the It’s A Miracle! songs on in the background, play silly games, call the grand-parents, eat as much sugar as you possibly can and just have fun. Talk about why you’re celebrating, what the ‘good news of great joy’ really is, and make some special family memories during Christmas 2020.