It’s 15 more days to go and Christmas 2015 will be happening live! The scent, sights and sounds of Christmas are now conspicuously everywhere and overwhelmingly felt all around. I am constantly captivated by the sights and it is almost laughable when I scream in excitement at an exquisitely crafted Christmas décor. These all bring to fore an old song which keeps running through my head – ”Christmas dey come, mama buy shoes for me” lol! Who can remember that song?
My kids evoke more of this contagious excitement in me with their constant exclamation at every Christmas décor and lighting- “oh mum it’s so beautiful”! Needless to mention the constant questioning of what day will Christmas be – “Mum will / / be Christmas?” My three year old constantly asks faster that I can respond. *sighs*. Or “when are we going to decorate our home for Christmas?” You all know how their constant questions and pestering can sometimes drive one ‘nuts’.
Amidst all this excitement came the realization that it’s about time I properly explain the reason for this celebration to my children. So I scribbled the steps below to explain the truth behind God’s perfect gift to mankind – Christmas!
1. Read more of Christmas themed bed time stories – Reading or telling your children bedtime stories with slight inflection in your voice and dramatic expressions endears the story time to them and makes it easier for them to remember the lessons taught. Read different stories of Christmas in a funny and dramatic way to them this season. My kids love how I dramatize Mary’s character with a big protruding tommy screaming to Joseph “the baby is coming, hurry, hurry and get us a room”.
2. Watch a movie that adulates the Christmas messages – Cuddle with your little ones and watch a movie about Christmas. Here in Nigeria, it’s that time of the year where the dry and cold wind from the northern desert blow harder (harmattan season) and it’s my perfect time for cuddling. Here are a few suggestions to look out for – 1. The nativity story; 2. Why do we call it Christmas? Check YouTube for more.
3. Sing carols loud and merry – Sing Christmas carols aloud with gait and have your children sing along with you. In recent times, my kids have repeatedly sung the carols taught in school this season, mumbling through the lines and pronouncing most words wrongly. To encourage their effort and for the fun of it, I downloaded and store most of those carols on their handy android device to help them sing along.
4. Encourage and involve the children in giving – The ultimate reason for Christmas is giving as God exemplified this by giving his priceless Son to die for me and you. You may not be free to take your ‘troops’ to the orphanage or soup kitchen. However, encourage your children by having them partake in giving out food, clothing, old toys and other gifts to family, neighbours and other disadvantaged people around you. This will help them experience the joy of giving this Christmas.
5. Find and engage in creative ways to portray the humble birth of Christ – You can take your children to see a miniature manger. ‘The Palms’ in Lekki and Zenith heights at Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island (all in Lagos) usually have one on display. You can also print out pictures depicting the Christmas stories and have them colour them.