For many a child, Christmas is the best holiday of the year with Christmas presents, the tree trimmed with decorations and the feasting! They grow up with many happy memories of Christmas. As believers, we especially want our children to remember Christmas as a time when Jesus is the focus. We want to cultivate memories of celebrating God coming to earth to fulfill his promise of a Saviour. We want our children to recognize that Christmas is part of the larger story of the gospel of Jesus.
How about making “a telling of the gospel” a part of your Christmas celebrations? Here’s an idea. For the five days before Christmas, sit the children by the Christmas tree each morning or evening and read to them two chapters from The Lamb. You can either read it aloud and show them the pictures, or use the CD included and play the narration for the children as you turn the pages. At the end of each session, have them make Christmas decorations for the tree (or you can make them ahead of time) and then have the children hang the decorations on the tree. These will be visual reminders of the gospel story right on the Christmas tree. You’ll certainly have an unusual-looking but gospel-saturated tree!
Then on Christmas Day before the presents are opened, point out the decorations in order and have each child tell the rest of the family how each decoration fits into the gospel story. This fun activity will really place Jesus where he belongs: right in the centre of Christmas. You can finish off with a prayer of thanksgiving before you continue with your Christmas celebrations.
Here are some suggestions for decorations to hang on the tree. You can make these yourself or have the children make them. You can use: paper, cardboard, foam paper, play dough, toys found around the home, or even Lego! Just attach string to each item so they can be hung on the Christmas tree.
Chapter 1: God Made it All
Have the children draw, colour and cut out animals. Alternatively, you can use a variety of toy animals or make them from Lego.
Chapter 2: What God is Like
Have the kids draw a picture of their favourite foods, a stop sign or traffic light (page 42), and a two-sided picture of Heaven.
Here are two ideas to depict Heaven: 1) a happy person on one side and a sick person on the other; or 2) a beautiful garden on one side and images of weeds, thorns or dead plants on the other. The side with that doesn’t remind us of Heaven should have an X drawn on it.
Chapter 3: The Bad Angels
Have the children draw pictures of good angels and place them high in the tree. Have them create pictures of bad angels (you can follow the illustrations on page 59) and place them at the bottom of the tree.
Chapter 4: A Wrong Choice
Create the special fruit by either following the illustration in the book (page 75), or ask the children to invent their own version of the fruit since we don’t know what it looked like.
Chapter 5: Who to Trust
Draw and cut out a silhouette of a man to represent the Saviour. The picture should not have facial details. Put a big question mark on the silhouette to represent the question of whether to trust God to provide a Saviour.
Chapter 6: The Rescue Plan
Create the shape of a lamb. You can follow the outline of the lamb on the front cover of the book.
Chapter 7: Right and Wrong
Make two little tablets to represent the 10 Commandments. You may want to write the commandments on them before hanging them on the tree (If you used playdough, press markings on the dough with a pencil.)
Chapter 8: The Promised Saviour
Have the children create a stable and then a boat (with paper, Lego, etc.)
Chapter 9: Our Perfect Lamb
Following the illustration on page 151, create a cross with Jesus on it.
Chapter 10: Alive Forever
Create a circle and colour it to make it look like the circular rock door of the tomb. (Play dough or Lego works well too.)
We trust this reading of “The Lamb” and the extra-special tree decorations will help children to have special memories of celebrating Jesus at Christmas.
Learn more about The Lamb picture book and CD