Are you like me? Always trying to find ways to put "Christ back in Christmas"? I read about one family's tradition of hiding the pieces of the family's Christmas creche around the living room and the young children look for all the pieces. When my grandkids were small, this seemed like a good way to go.
Christmas Eve Treasure Hunt~
Our family always gets together on Christmas Eve. We go to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church, and then come over to my house for Christmas pasta and then opening presents. While I was trying to get the Christmas Eve dinner on the table, I needed something for the grands to do. I used the idea I read about--we hid the nativity figures around the living room and the grands had to find them. Then before the dinner, Poppa would read the Christmas story from the Bible, and as each item is mentioned (e.g. shepherds), the grand would place the item back in the nativity scene. It turned out well, as it's like an Easter egg hunt...all the excitement of finding Easter eggs, except this night, it's pieces of the Nativity. I used a soft, quilted nativity, but one could use an inexpensive wooden (or other material) nativity scene that could not be broken.
You can use any Bible re-telling of the first Christmas you wish: Luke 2:1-20 or Matthew 2:9-11.
I also read on Pinterest about a mom who, when trying to put the finishing touches on Christmas Eve dinner, came up with a game to entertain her kids while she did this. She hid Christmas bows all over the upstairs of her house, turned out all the lights upstairs and gave her kids flashlights. She told them she had hid Christmas bows, and she wanted to see if they could find them all. This enabled her to finish dinner and get it on the table without nagging children eager for the Christmas eve festivities.
I took it one step further as my grandkids were older. In keeping with my desire to put "Christ back in Christmas," I hid small Christmas packages. Inside each package was something that was a symbol of a component of the first Christmas scene, from the baby Jesus to the wise men, to the shepherds being visited by a heavenly host.
Here are some of the components I considered:
I did this last minute (as I am apt to do) and found small Christmas bags at 80% off at the craft store. I simply placed each item I deemed a representation of the above, and hid them in three bedrooms. That night I presented each grandchild with a flashlight and told them to go look for Christmas packages (we turned out the lights in each room). When they returned, they opened each package and tried to guess what was represented by the item. There really weren't any wrong answers--for instance, the number "3" could represent the three wise men, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and even the trinity: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This prompted lots of discussion.
This prompted a nice family discussion of all the components of the Christmas story and what each one represents. I hoped it kept our Christmas Eve celebration from culminating into the usual discussion of the first Christmas and into one that was more meaningful. I can hope.
As Christmas approaches, I hope these activities might enhance your own celebration. I've never had an original idea--I copy, copy, copy. Please share any ideas you have.
And Merry Christmas each and every ONE!
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Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!