Christmas Is Here, Welcome Jesus!

I am belated in getting this blog on here. I wrote it last week, but Christmas came and I didn’t get it posted. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish for you a blessed year.

I also had problems posting this morning as I am on the road – don’t worry, I’m not driving, my hubby is. Basically, I am having to copy and paste from my rough draft because, not everything saved. Yes, Christmas is over, but I hope you still enjoy this blog and I hope you are still treasuring and pondering Christmas in your heart like Mary did. We still have a week to ponder before the holidays are completely over for another year – a little longer if you carry the Christmas tradition into January as some do, celebrating the arrival of the wisemen on January 12th. However you celebrate, it’s never too late to welcome Jesus.

Whether you are ready or not, whether you are feeling stressed with last minute preparations or are all ready to go, Christmas will come so cut yourself some slack, sit back and enjoy and remember God is here. Yes, He came to dwell on earth with us. So whether you are in the middle of a masterpiece moment or a mess, whatever you are doing, wherever you are going this Christmas, don’t forget to take time to celebrate Jesus. He is the reason for our celebration.

To welcome someone means kindly greeting them with pleasure, gladly receiving someone or being genuinely happy they are with us. I wonder, “Are we excited to welcome Jesus at Christmas time or are we too busy to welcome Him?” I’m challenging you and myself this Christmas (and this time after Christmas) to make time to welcome and invite Jesus into our celebrations, into the preparations, the beautiful memories and also those not so good moments. Welcome Him into every part of your Christmas and post Christmas week. Whatever you are doing whether you are cooking the big Christmas dinner or trying to get everyone ready and out of the house on your way to Grandma’s, make time to welcome Jesus.

How can you and I do that when our thoughts are going in so many different directions at once? I like to start my day with a simple prayer asking for an awareness of His presence. As long as we are starting the day with prayer, how about continuing throughout the day. Yes, it’s good to take moments when we completely stop and are still kneeling or sitting and reflecting on God’s gift, Jesus, but if you can’t do that right now, then welcome Him into your kitchen as you cook, into your shopping, wrapping, working, answering to your child’s call. Welcome Jesus by welcoming others into your celebration. Don’t be so busy that you can’t be present with those around you. Jesus came to earth to live with us, to be present with us. Let’s learn from His example and be present, enjoying time with those you love and with those around you. Live fully in each moment, whether it be at the store doing last minute shopping or at home with your family. When we welcome others, we are welcoming Jesus.

Other ways of welcoming Jesus into this Christmas week are:

  • Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 or if you have young children from a Children’s book before opening presents or now – after Christmas.
  • I love to read and I have books scattered throughout my home. One way I connect with and welcome Jesus during the Christmas season is by putting out Christmas books out on my coffee table, in the bathroom (I usually get at least a few moments of peace and quiet in there.), by my bed, wherever I can find a place.
  • Set out a Nativity. (Keep it out a little while longer – maybe into January.) I have two. I have one that is breakable that I put up a little higher away from small hands that could accidentally break it and I have a Fischer Price Nativity that I put on my coffee table specifically for little hands to play with. Some of my piano students have even taken a moment to rearrange the figures. I love seeing what they come up with. It makes me smile when I realize how much children love and connect with the Christmas story.

  • PARENT PRAYER:
    Dear God,
    I welcome you today into this special day, but I don’t want it to stop with today. I want to welcome you into everyday that you give me. As I serve, work, help my family, exercise or whatever I am doing, let me not forget that you are with me, Jesus Immanuel, and truly welcome you into every aspect of my day. May I become more and more aware of your presence. Teach me to slow my pace so that I can spend time with you in prayer and reading your Word. Help me to see and experience the story of your birth in a new way this year. I pray that my family can experience Christmas in a new way and with a new appreciation for what you did. Teach us to live unselfishly and gratefully as we navigate the challenges that life brings us. The first Christmas was simple and took place in very humble surroundings, remind us, Lord to truly be thankful for what we have whether it is little or much. Show us how to love like you love. Amen
  • PONDER THE CHRISTMAS STORY
  • Mary treasured and pondered what the shepherds said in her heart. Take a moment to ponder this week, to wonder and recreate in your mind the events of the Christmas story
  • Read the story slowly so you can think about what it says.
  • Drink in the sights and sounds of the young couple and tiny newborn in a dusty stable. Think of the awe of the terrified shepherds when they saw an angel and not just one angel, but a whole army of angels from heaven above! Think of the joy, the great joy of the wise men as they faithfully followed a star to come and worship.
    • Then after you have pondered, stop to pray. Breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s greatest gift.
    • A FEW FUN CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES FOR THE CLASSROOM
    • Sing, “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.
    • Tape a picture of a birthday cake to the wall of your classroom, cut out paper candles and let the kids put candles on the cake. It’s even more fun if you blindfold the kids and play like you would “Pin The Tail On The Donkey”.
    • Decorate your classroom.
    • Keep the festive atmosphere going for a little while longer and use those leftover Christmas napkins and plates for snack time this week.
      • Put together some simple costumes to put in your pretend play area so the kids can dress-up and act out the Christmas story. Let them tell you in their own words the story that hopefully they are now familiar with.
    • Thank God for sending Jesus and thank Jesus for coming to earth to be our friend.

Kid’s Section

STORY: Happy Birthday Jesus – Luke 2 – It might be fun to have your Nativity out as you review the story, holding up the appropriate figure each time you mention the various people.

Do you know whose birthday we celebrated this week? Yes, Jesus’ birthday. Let’s see if what we can remember about Jesus’ birthday. Who brought good news to Mary and Joseph before Jesus was born? (An angel brought good news.) What was the good news? (Mary was going to have a very special baby. Pretend to rock a baby.) What would the baby’s name be? (Jesus, He is God’s one and only Son.)

Before Jesus was born, Mary & Joseph had to go on a long trip. Where did they go? (To Bethlehem.) When they got there, they were very tired. (Yawn) They looked for a place to rest, but all the inns were full. Where did they find a place to rest? (A stable is where animals live.) What happened next? (Jesus was born!) Jesus was born right there in that stable where the animals were. Mary wrapped Him up in nice soft cloths and laid Him in the manager on a bed of hay to sleep. What a funny place for a baby to be born! Who came to see Jesus after He was born? (After Jesus was born some shepherds and wise men came to see Him.)

God loved us (Hands on heart.) so much that He gave us Jesus. (Hands out as though giving a gift.) On Christmas Day we celebrated Jesus’ birthday. Let’s sing “Happy Birthday!” to Jesus again. We can thank God for Jesus. Jesus is God’s best gift to us and He’s a very good friend too. What can you give to God/Jesus? You can give God your love. He loves you so much and He wants you to love Him with all your heart – with all that you are. Let’s remember to love and welcome Jesus this Christmas as we celebrate Christmas and throughout the year.

PRAYER:
Dear God,
Thank you for loving me and giving me your best gift, Jesus. Happy Birthday, Jesus. I love you. I want to give you my best too. I give you my heart, my love. Please help me to always love you. I welcome and celebrate you on Christmas. Come and be my forever friend. Amen

MEMORIZE: John 3:16 NIrV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Reach up and then fold arms and place hands on heart.)
The world – (Make w’s with fingers and roll hands around each other.)
That He gave – (Extend outwards as though giving a gift.)
His one – (Hold up one finger.)
Only Son – (Pretend to hold a baby.)

KNOW: I can celebrate Jesus and give Him my love.
TALK ABOUT: Birthdays and God’s love
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO… I can worship and remember Him on Christmas.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK

  • Bake a birthday cake together and sing to Jesus. No time to bake? Buy one and let your child put on the candles.
  • Don’t forget to make some time this week to praise God. Say, “Thank you God for giving us Jesus. Thank you, Jesus for coming to earth. Thank you for loving me.”

    VERSE SONG: To the tune of “Jingle Bells” Sing together with your child and if you have jingle bells, get them out to shake as you sing.
    God so loved,
    God so loved,
    God so loved the world,
    That He gave His only Son,
    His one and only S-on.
    God so loved,
    God so loved,
    God so loved the world,
    That He gave His only Son,
    John 3:16 

     

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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