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Thursday, November 30, 2017

15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time

15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays


This is the last All Wrapped Up blog post!  I hope you enjoyed this month of gift guides and Christmas ideas.  Today, I'd like to focus on exalting Christ at Christmas time.  This is a frequently discussed topic among Christian parents, so I thought I'd put all the basic ideas in one place.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays
Nativity Book Countdown

The first blog post in this series was a Nativity book countdown, listing twenty-four stories that could be read one a night until Christmas.  Families that already do bedtime stories would find it easy to add these books to their routine.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Of course, Nativities are a traditional Christmas time decoration, but there are so many from which to chose from.  I thought this toddler friendly Nativity set is adorable.  She made it with scraps of fabric and plain peg dolls.  My kids have enjoyed the Fisher Price plastic set with cute, chunky pieces.  Someday, I'd like to own this Willow Tree set, perhaps after the kids are a bit older and I have knicknacks again.  There are also other homemade Nativity ideas on Pinterest if DIY is more your style.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Although most people know that December 25 is not Jesus's birthday, some families chose to help their children focus on Christ by having a birthday party for Him sometime during Advent.  These celebrations can be as simple as a homemade birthday cake or as elaborate as a fully-themed party.  Decorations can be birthday, Christmas, or Nativity-themed.  Presents can be donated to charity or a local church.  Be sure to sing "Happy Birthday!"


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

We introduced JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself), our Kindness Elf last year.  The kids have been talking about her all year and wondering what she's been up to lately.  They're looking forward to her return after Thanksgiving.  JOY reminds us to be kind to each other during Advent.  We don't really use her as an Elf-on-the-Shelf alternative, but a few "Christian" versions are available in the form of the Wandering Wisemen, the Christmas Angel, the Donkey in the Living Room, and the Shepherd on the Search.  Whatever toy you chose, they can all be used to point your children to Jesus this Christmas.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Traditionally, the Jesse Tree has been used to teach people Biblical history and the prophecies about Jesus.  The idea comes from Isaiah 11:1, "A branch will come from Jesse's stump," which Christians believe is referring to Jesus.  The Jesse Tree is 24-30 ornaments that represent different Bible stories or concepts.  Every day, the family gathers to do a Bible reading or devotional and to add another ornament to the tree.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Truth in the Tinsel is a brilliant program from O Amanda.  She uses sensory experiences to help kids experience the first Christmas in a new way.  I really like her Holy Week materials as well.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays
Nativity Story Family Date Night

Earlier in this series, I showcased 10 movies for Family Date Night.  One of those movies was The Nativity Story.  I don't have much else to add this time around, except to say that I did find some cute Nativity themed foods on Pinterest recently.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

There are many opportunities for charity giving at Christmas time.  This mom decided to help her kids focus on Christ by having them earn money through their acts of service and kindness.  When someone noticed the child working with a cheerful heart, being compassionate, helpful, considerate, or humble, then the mom or dad would add money to their pouch.  On Christmas Eve, the kids counted their money and decided what to buy from a charity catalog for a person in another country.  I love this idea!  Burlap bags can be purchased on Amazon.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Another great way to have your Christmas tree point to Christ is with these Names of Christ DIY ornaments.  A family could also make their Advent devotionals match the names by looking up verses and discussing their meaning.  This blogger also has the names in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Spanish, so you could have lots of ornaments on the tree.  They could also be used for a matching game, where participants would have to match the same name in different languages.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

It's become a family tradition for us to read the first 24 stories of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We have these free cards printed and hung on our wall in order.  Every day, we flip over one card and read the story.  The hyperlink for the tile picture goes to a printable for making Jesse Tree ornaments, which could also be used with the readings.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

I attended both Lutheran and Catholic school, so the Advent Wreath is very dear to my heart.  There are 4 candles arranged in a circle.  Each Sunday, a new candle is lit, while a special set of verses and a devotion is read.  The first week, one candle is lit, the second week, two, and so forth.  I love the beauty of the Advent Wreath and would love to have one in our home someday.  I especially love it's ties our ancient faith.

15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

An easy way to remind yourself and others about Christ at Christmas is through your home decorations.  There are thousands of free printables on the internet- chalkboard, subway art, and everything else.  Just print and stick in a frame for an easy, Christ exalting decor option.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Christmas Pageants and Living Nativities are very popular during Advent.  If you're children aren't involved in a production at church (or even if they are), they could also put on a skit for the relatives.  Or perhaps you could take your neighbors and some Christmas cookies through a drive-through Nativity.  The blog post I linked above has great ideas for cheap and easy costumes.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

I love peppermint!  Candy cane season is my favorite time of all.  Fortunately, I discovered peppermint essential oils so I can have the smell all year long.  It's also really neat that you can use the candy cane to point to "the reason for the season."  I think it would be great to print off these bookmarks and pass them out to people around your neighborhood or at a store.  It would make a great family project.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

I love playing Christmas music!  I drive my husband crazy sometimes (wink), but I enjoy listening to the old favorites and newest albums.  It's so great while you're driving, baking, cleaning, wrapping gifts or whatever you're doing this season.

The header picture is from the new Casting Crowns CD that was just released this October.  I listened to it while writing this blog post.  I really love "Somewhere in Your Silent Night" and "It's Finally Christmas Time."  Although it's a short album, I highly recommend it.


15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

Well, that's the end of my pre-Christmas series.  Although I don't currently have any more Christmas blog posts scheduled, it wouldn't surprise me if I wrote a few more before the big holiday.  I've really enjoyed this series and might end up making it a tradition (perhaps not with the exact same theme).  I hope you liked reading these posts as much as I liked writing them!



More Advent Ideas can be found on this Blog Post
15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays


You can find all the posts on the launch page.
15 Ideas to Exalt Christ at Christmas Time from In Our Pond  #christmas #nativity #christian #advent #jesus #holydays #holidays

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