In society, Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier each year. The stores begin to display Christmas decorations and gift items even before Halloween, now. It can seem a bit confusing to children and families as to when the season of Christmas actually begins. As those devoted to our Faith, we know that the Christmas season begins on December 25th, Christmas Day. Here are some tips to teach the real meaning of Christmas and to enjoy the celebration which begins on the 25th and ends officially at the feast of the baptism of the lord, the Sunday after the epiphany.
Appreciating and honoring Mary
Mary gave her fiat to the angel Gabriel and became the Mother of God. We owe so much to our mother Mary for this yes and for being a good and holy mother to Jesus and to all of humankind. When we appreciate and honor Mary, we are also honoring Jesus. To highlight the season, teach children about Mary, to say the Hail Mary, and to pray to our lady. This is a way to instill in children and family life the real meaning of Christmas.
Relationship with Jesus
Protestants speak often of the need for a relationship with Jesus. This concept can and may be confusing to some Catholics who do not understand what this entails and means. The idea of developing a real relationship with our Lord is very good. All of us are called to do so. Christmas is the perfect time to develop that friendship with Christ through prayer and through honoring him through the sacraments of our Faith. Teach children the importance of getting to know Jesus through the scriptures, prayer, and the sacraments as something very real. Jesus is indeed calling all of us to this relationship and it is done through spending time with him. This is done through reflection, prayer, and most of all by imitating him in daily life. This is how we can all develop that relationship which is the most principal one we can ever have.
Continue the spirit of giving
Most times, people like to give to the poor and those in need from Thanksgiving through advent. There is not as much giving after Christmas and beyond. Make it a point to be charitable not just in the weeks before Christmas but afterwards and throughout the year. A spirit of giving is important through the entire year, so teach everyone in the family about the relevance of yearly giving.
The Holy Eucharist
The eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Visit an adoration chapel as a family, get to daily mass when possible, and live our being a eucharistic people as a family. This is a beautiful way to discover the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is about Jesus, and he lives in the holy eucharist. Teach children about the real presence and put our eucharistic Lord at the center of all you do in family life.
Christmas is a time of joy and of celebration. These tips will help you love the lord in the greatest of ways and to honor him. When children witness parents enjoying and loving the faith, they will too. When they see the joy of living out the Catholic Faith, it gives them reason to do so not just in childhood but for the rest of their lives. Practice these tips to aid in the teaching of the Faith both for your children and for everyone in the family. Live and love the faith together!
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