Note: This article deals with the Christian view of Christmas, which is the general perception of Christmas in the Philippines.
Kids these days are bombarded with different images of the holiday season: Santa, reindeer, decorations, presents, even snowmen. Still, as parents, we want to uphold traditions, and with Christmas being one of the foremost, it’s important we communicate its meaning to our children in a way that they can appreciate. When you are figuring our how to introduce your child to the true meaning of Christmas, you can do so in several creative and age-appropriate ways.
1. Read the Christmas story. This is the simplest, most practical way to present Christmas to a child. Get a good quality book that tells the story of the first Christmas and read it together with your child.
2. Have a nativity scene as part of your decorations. The Nativity scene is a common decoration in Philippine homes. They serve a greater purpose, however, as visual aids to reinforce the Christmas story. Let your young child touch the pieces, and explain each part of the scene to him that is in line with the story you have just read.
3. Explain the meaning of gift-giving. Christmas is synonymous with gift-giving, and children ought to know why the tradition is so. Teach your child the reason why we give gifts to each other during this season: It’s because we remember that God gave Jesus to the world. Just as God gave to us, we give to others as a kind of blessing on them for the season.
4. Teach them to give gifts. Teaching children to give to others instills in them the value of sharing and generosity, two moral virtues which are heavily connected with the Christmas season. Take them shopping to choose gifts for other children, such as the kids in a children’s home or those in a hospital ward. By teaching them to give to the less fortunate, you reinforce the message that Christmas is also about giving without expecting a gift in return.
Click here to see more ways to introduce to your child the meaning of Christmas.