Preparing Our Hearts... See!
Posted: December 07, 2016
By Linda Nelson
Director of Celebrating Children Preschool
An exciting new Christmas season is upon us! It can be easy to become overwhelmed and scattered during this time of decking the halls and shopping the malls. At Celebrating Children Preschool, we have found a simple way to prepare for the holidays that you can do too. We stop and open our eyes to really and truly SEE all the magic of Christmas all around us.
Here are some of the ways we prepare our hearts for Christ's birth at the preschool:
- We open up the preschool to our special adults during the Family Advent Party. The children share their classroom and illustrate the ways they learn. Everyone gets to decorate treats to enjoy.
The highlight of the Advent Party each year is our Nativity Drama. There are simple costumes and any child who wants a part gets one. Pastor Duane Paetznick tells the story and invites the kids to act it out along with him. There is no rehearsal, yet it always runs smoothly! Pastor Duane has been doing this for as long as we can remember! It is always a big hit with kids and parents alike. And it is especially memorable for the children since they got to play a role in the story.
- All our children love babies. Many of them have experience with a younger brother or sister, and they all have a basic understanding of getting the house ready for a baby to come home. We build on this familiar concept to tell the story of Christ’s birth. Many of the books we read in class emphasize this part of the Christmas story too.
- We teach our students that giving and loving is more important than receiving. We do this by having them make gifts for other people. We spend extra time and effort illustrating this through words and actions.
- We get out of our classrooms to see Christmas decorations all around the church. Some classes explore the building counting Christmas trees. Others go into the Sanctuary and talk about the different ornaments on the tree. Everyone loves to search for the Baby Jesus in each nativity set. Have you taken a close look at the decorations in the Sanctuary? Or the "Nativities from Around the World" in the Atrium?
- For most families Christmas is all about traditions, and we acknowledge what is special about how each family celebrates, and that they are all ways to prepare our hearts for Jesus.
You can plan your own "Family Open House" at home! You don't even need to invite guests. Spend some time with just the family walking around the house, letting everyone have a turn sharing what rooms, or special Christmas decorations, are most meaningful to them.
Remember that the magic of Christmas is best found in time with family, such as making treats and crafts together, sharing stories or playing games. May you SEE the wonder of Christmas flow through your family and brighten your holidays.