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The following reviews are based solely on my opinion from having read through the content and gathered feedback from other like-minded moms. Some of the age ranges were taken from the author’s description, while others are my own opinions based on the vocabulary level, amount of words used in the text, and observations from having used them with children. Be sure to check back for more great resources to come!
What do your kids love about Christmas? Mine love decorating the Christmas tree (my husband’s least favorite part), making, icing, and eating Christmas cookies, and spending time with their cousins. Maybe for your kids it’s getting to sit on Santa’s lap, shopping for presents, or looking at Christmas lights. And, of course, I don’t think there is a child out there who doesn’t look forward to opening the long awaited Christmas gifts displayed around the tree! Christmas is fun and full of exciting activities, but with so much to look forward to, if we are not careful, it can become easy to loose sight of the main reason for Christmas.
As parents set on raising our kids to know and love God, if we desire them to follow the greatest commandment to love God with ALL their heart, soul, mind, and strength, we HAVE to be intentional to focus on Jesus during the holiday! Here are some resources to help you keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus.
Best for ages 1-5
When my daughter was only one, her grandmother gave her this nativity play-set for Christmas. I took the characters and very simply acted out the Christmas story with her. She LOVED it and would laugh and ask me to do it again. She may not have understood the entire reason Jesus came to the world, but she was learning that telling the story of baby Jesus was the most important part about Christmas. We left it out for her to play with all season, and each Christmas the kids still enjoy pulling it out and setting it up.
My Merry Christmas (padded board book)
By: Sally Lloyd Jones
Best for ages 2-5
From the author of Jesus Story Book Bible comes this sweet rhyming book that teaches little ones the meaning behind Christmas symbols such as lights, angels, and stars, pointing them all to Jesus and the story of Christmas.
What Is Christmas?
What is Christmas?
By: Michelle Medlock Adams
Best for ages 3-7
This rhyming book is one of my favorites for teaching the true meaning of Christmas. Each page suggests different ideas of what Christmas is about, but by the end of the book, the conclusion is made that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus, God’s greatest gift to save the world.
By: Lisa Town Bergren
Best for ages: 4-7
Like all the God Gave Us… books, this precious story gets to the heart of Christmas in an endearing way for children by explaining about Jesus through nature. One thing I particularly like is how Momma Bear explains the difference between Santa and Jesus to Little Cub, and how Little Cub becomes more excited about Jesus than anything else at Christmas time.
By: Lori Walburg and Dandi Daley Mackall
Best for ages 4-9
This new Christmas resource has three classic Christmas legends in one, a great value! The Legend of the Christmas Cookie and The Legend of St. Nicholas both share messages of generosity, and the Legend of the Candy Cane teaches the message of Jesus and the hope that is found in Him. All three are endearing stories to warm your holiday and put your family in the Christmas spirit.
Concordia Publishing House
Best for ages 4-10
We have used this Christmas book to tell the story of Christmas with our children for several years. I love the realistic illustrations and how the wording is drawn straight from the Bible. The book also covers the entire Christmas message from Zechariah and Elizabeth to the three wise men. There are discussion questions, a prayer and relatable activities for each section of the story, too. This would be a great way to read the Scriptures when following an advent calendar or reading though the Christmas story as the kids will have a great visual while hearing the message.
By: Josh and Lindsey Helms
Best for ages 2-8
This advent set includes a book about a little shepherd boy who makes his way to see baby Jesus and includes the little shepherd character, your kids will love. You hide him around your house each day for your kids to find, and the last day he finally makes it to baby Jesus (your Nativity set). We did this last year with my kids for advent, and the LOVED it! There is an advent devotional to go along with it that can be bought through Amazon as well here.
Whether you come from a traditional church background or not, using the Scriptures and candle lighting timeline from advent is a great way to focus on the coming of Jesus each day with your children. There is something about lighting candles that makes your devotional time a very special and sacred experience.
Best for ages 3-10
Advent calendars are a great Christmas resource to use with your kids as they anticipate the birth of Christ! We always had advent calendars growing up, and it’s always fun to open the next door and get excited about Christmas! My kids have enjoyed these types of calendars as well!
By Arnold Ytreeide
Best for ages 9 and up
A friends of mine is reading this daily during the advent season with her older daughter. She has been so impressed with the maturity and depth of this book it has blessed her spiritually too! She says the way the truths are tied into the story and summarized at the end of each day are excellent.
Best for ages 4-12
This Christmas resource, a three week count-down to Christmas is similar to an advent calendar, but instead of opening a door, your family will move a space on a game board each day and complete an activity. Each day your family will either read part of the Christmas story and answer questions, do a hands-on application activity, or participate in a family fun event or service project. The count down allows you to pick the days you would like to do each activity to make it conducive for your family’s schedule and help you prioritize Jesus at Christmas.
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Seeds Family Worship
Best for ages 4-12
This great audio Christmas album by Seeds Family Worship is packed full of lyrics directly from God’s Word. Your kids will not only enjoy the music but be memorizing God’s Word as they sing along!
Star Song Music
Best for ages 3-8
These classic Christmas songs are sung by a children’s choir and will get your kids in the holiday spirit as they learn the classic songs we all know from childhood.
Best for ages 2-6
Our children loved the Read and Share DVD’s when they were younger, and this Christmas version is a 30 minute story of Jesus’ birth told in a simple, fun way that little ones can grasp!
Best for ages 3-8
Tommy Nelson Publishing
This animated DVD is a Christmas resource sure to steal your children’s hearts with its sweet message based around the Christmas story and enjoyable music. Based on Max Lucado’s story of Joshua, a lonely, lame lamb has an opportunity to bless baby Jesus and learn that God has a special plan for him, too.
Best for ages 3 and up
Phil Vischer: Maker of Veggie Tales
You will love this movie, packed not only with fun entertainment for your kids but with knowledge about Christmas that even parents can learn from. Your kids will learn interesting facts such as why we call the holiday Christmas, when was Jesus really born, and how Santa Clause fits into the story of Christmas.
Best for Ages 5 and up
We saw The Star last year in theaters, and it is a sweet story of the animals who journey along with Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem. While the main story line is of the animals and the plot adapts the story of Jesus’ birth a bit, the overall message brings honor to Jesus and instills a good lesson about what is really important in life. We made sure to remind our children what parts were true and what parts were made up.
Best for ages 4 and up
SuperBook episodes have become one of our kids’ favorite shows, and their 30 minute Christmas story is great too! As the main character gets too focused on getting lots of presents for Christmas, SuperBook takes them back in time to the first Christmas to remind them of what Christmas is all about.
Best for ages 4-9
This movie, based on the best selling book, will encourage your children to see the hope that comes with the true meaning of Christmas, when a hopeless town is inspired by a new candy shop and the message of Jesus told through a candy cane.
Best for Ages 7 and up
This is a movie mom and dad will also enjoy with a realistic picture of what the first Christmas was probably like. There are a few scenes that may be a bit scary for young children and would most likely not keep their attention, but for 7 and up, I would highly recommend this one for a great family movie night.