Celebrating Christ-like character at Christmas
Celebrating Christ-like character at Christmas
There’s no doubt, this time of year can be busy, busy, busy! If you’re looking for simple ways to keep your children focused on the right priorities, here’s a special message from the creator of Kids of Integrity, along with a brief NEW lesson she put together specifically for Christmas.
A Christmas lesson from Laurel
Each year as we look through our boxes of Christmas decorations once again, the homemade ones remain our favourites. There are glitter-covered egg-carton flowers, beaded stars and clay gingerbread men. The ones that stand out, however, are a set of 20 fleece mini-mittens. We made these multi-coloured mitts to help us remember to decorate our home with Christ-like character during the holiday season.
As the boys cut fabric and sewed, they decided which fabric represented each different character trait. The pink ones, for example, were for gentleness and the yellow ones for joy.
When the mittens were ready, each pair was placed in a basket on the kitchen table. When we noticed family members being considerate, patient, respectful, generous or obedient, etc., we hung the corresponding mittens on a “clothesline” in our dining nook. I don't remember if all the mittens were hanging by Christmas Day or not, but the project did keep us focused on sharing God's grace within our home and with others during the busy month of December.
Ten years have passed and still I am reminded of how much we need the Holy Spirit to fill our home and our hearts with peace, love and joy. There are daily scuffles in the kitchen over who is taking too much space, arguing about chores and less than kind words spoken. As discouraging as this can be, there are glimmers of hope. Last week our older son let his brother borrow his new fedora to wear to a school event. And just yesterday the younger one did extra work without being asked. This makes me smile and think, Maybe I should get those mittens out and start hanging them up again as a sweet reminder of the beauty of seeing Jesus in us.
To create your own set of Christ-like character decorations, you could make paper or cloth mittens, cut out star shapes or use candy canes. Decorate and label them based on the Kids of Integrity lessons your family has completed, or with the character traits you want to highlight for the month of December.
Here are some discussion questions and relevant Scriptures to kick off your celebration of your “Christ-like character Christmas.”
Romans 5:2b-5: “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”
Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
James 3:17: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
Questions for discussion
- Which Christmas decorations are your favourites? Why are these your favourites?
- Why do we decorate our house at Christmastime?
- Who do you like to spend time with during the holidays?
- Why do you enjoy spending time with this person?
- Out of the list of godly character traits mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 [see the memory verse above], which ones do you see in the lives of your friends or family members?
- What usually causes fights or arguments in our house?
- How can we decorate our lives with Christ-like character instead?
- How does God pour His love into us?
Speak a blessing
- You are making it a Merry Christmas when you ________. (Name the action that is God honouring.)
- What a beautiful way you decorated our home, ________! (Name the family member and what they did.)
- I just love it when we are kind to each other. (Or replace the italicized phrase with any positive interaction.)
- Jesus is honoured when He sees our family full of _______. (Name a Christ-like action.)
- Our home is such a happy place when we decorate it with ________. (Name a positive character trait.)
- Patience in me, patience in you, helps others see God’s love shining through. (Name any character trait you wish in the rhyme.)
- Jesus in me, Jesus in you, means that ________ will be here, too. (List an observed godly character trait.)
Just as Christmas decorations make our homes beautiful, so our lives can be attractive when they are “decorated” with godly character traits such as kindness, compassion, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, contentment and respect for others.
Unfortunately, the stress and the materialistic bent of the holiday season can influence us to be impatient, rude or selfish. We can worry about ourselves, what gifts we will get and how much fun we will have with friends and relatives.
Jesus gives us a completely opposite orientation to the holiday season. Christ's love in our hearts causes us to think about those who are less fortunate and what we can give them. It means we become less obsessed with making ourselves happy and more interested in what we can do to make Christmas special for others.
When we ask the Holy Spirit to be a part of our day, we will be less likely to be irritable and more inclined to be patient, slower to respond selfishly, and more ready to make personal sacrifices. Celebrating Jesus’ love in us, and finding ways we can share it, is a wonderful way for our family to focus on honouring Him throughout the holidays.