My husband asked this question in Sunday school this morning "How do you help your children focus on the true purpose of Christmas?" Well that's a paraphrase anyway! We compared our Christmases when we were children to the Christmas traditions or activities we do with our own children. In my childhood, Christmas was all about the materialism. I had a huge long list every year and every year my list was fulfilled. I cannot think of a single thing I asked for that I did not receive. I had, at various times, a pool, a pony, a power wheels car, every Barbie made, every Cabbage Patch available, dogs, clothes, the list could go on and on. In terms of material items, I was spoiled beyond belief! But how sad that I didn't really celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. I spent a little time at church so I think I knew that was the reason for Christmas but we didn't focus on it at all.
For our kids it is evolving a little more every year. We don't "do" Santa, we spend lots of time reading the Christmas story and talking about Jesus. This year we traded the tradition of going to the local Christmas parade to instead go to watch a live outdoor reenactment of the birth of Jesus. We have been to a live nativity before, this was so much more! About a 25 minute production in the freezing cold from the perspective of Mary, Joseph, the shepards, and the wise men. It was fantastic! I think it was an amazing visual for our children. Also this year we are doing a Jesse tree as our Advent activity. Much better than the old paper chain for a Christmas countdown. Next weekend Apple and I will be going to a living Christmas tree production.
I think for us it is about being a little more purposeful every year in any ways we can incorporate. So what are you doing to direct your children to the true meaning of Christmas?