The Christmas season is almost upon us. As we begin to prepare our hearts and our homes for this beautiful season of the year, allow me to offer a few suggestions for celebrating the birth of Christ with preschoolers. The Gifts of the Wise Men. At Christmas, preschoolers tend to receive an incredible number of gifts from Santa, family and friends. I encourage you to begin the tradition of limiting Santa to three gifts in honor of the three gifts that the Wise Men brought to Jesus. This will help with gift expectations as your child grows (and gets more expensive gifts), and it will help your budget!

The Nativity. Allow your child to have a nativity to play with at home. At church, we use the Fisher-Price nativity in each classroom. This can be ordered online from www.Christianbook.com for $30.
The Bible. Every preschooler needs a Bible to “read” and use at home. We suggest the “Read to Me Bible for Kids” because it has the pictures and stories that the children hear at church. This Bible can be ordered online from www.Christianbook.com for $15 (enter the title HCSB Read to Me Bible for Kids” in the search). This Bible makes a great gift from grandparents.
Christmas Books. Purchase Christmas books that tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Look for books with realistic pictures and text that is true to the story. An example is “The Christmas Story” by Patricia Pingry. (Available for $6 at www.Christianbook.com.)
Family Gifts. Preschoolers typically have many loved ones who give gifts at Christmas. To limit the “stuff” in your house, encourage family to give “experiences” (such as gifts cards to Discovery Place, the zoo, Monkey Joe’s, Great Wolf Lodge, etc.) and “activities” (ballet lessons, gymnastic lessons, music lessons, etc.). You can also encourage contributions to the child’s college fund!
Ornaments. Begin a collection of ornaments for your child. Let these be reflective of their interests. Place a small Christmas tree in their bedroom that will hold their homemade ornaments and their ornament collection. At young adulthood, this collection of ornaments will go with them to their first apartment! Also, this ornament and new pajamas (for good looking Christmas morning pictures) make great Christmas Eve gifts from Mom and Dad. Christmas Eve.

We invite you to join us at 10:00am for a service geared to the interests of young children!
I hope your family experiences the joy of Christmas during this season!

Rev. Julia Wright
Minister with Children and their Families