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Christ Centered Christmas Activities

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Christ Centered Christmas

The holiday season is here, are you ready to make it a Christ centered Christmas?

Christ Centered Family Christmas
Christian alternatives to elf on the shelf

The Reason For The Season

Faith at home is something that is very important to us. Living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Some people start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, others December 1st. I can watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music year round.

One thing that we try to do is make the season about Christ, and not Santa or gifts. We are still working on our traditions. We do not ‘do’ Santa.

We do not hold being naughty or nice over the children’s heads. God’s gift of grace is completely undeserved, and we should strive to live holy lives not because we might not get a treat if we are naughty, but because we love Jesus.

Santa is not the all-seeing, all-knowing being that many make him out to be. Only God is. An Elf sent to spy on the kids does not quite fit with our goals for the Christmas season.

A lot of families do Elf on the Shelf, but I’ve been looking for more Christ centered Christmas/Advent activities. I found one that I really like, I think we will try to start it next year, but here are some ideas for you. Some are very much like Elf, others are printables, or other activities.

2022 Looks Different For Us

For several reasons, our 2022 Christmas looks very different from anything that I have ever known in my lifetime. However, having a Christ centered Christmas is still very important to us, even if it doesn’t look like it has in the past.

Because of some travel this season, our advent tools must be somewhat compact, and easy to take along.

What We Are Using This Year

Since having a Christ centered Christmas is important to us, I sought out some resources that


I ran across this book quite by accident, but flipping through it I cannot wait to dig in.

Christ Centered Christmas activity Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always
By Ruth Chou Simons / Harvest House Publishers

Christmas isn’t the end of our celebrations—it’s only the beginning! In this gorgeously illustrated 25-day Advent devotional, best-selling author Simons invites you to let the story of Jesus’ birth change the way you celebrate the season. Discover how to replace unrealistic expectations with a simple focus on experiencing “God with us” every day—all year long! 240 pages, hardcover from Harvest.

Donkey In The Living Room

Christ Centered Christmas activity The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set
By B&H Kids

Encourage your kids to discover the true meaning of Christmas with The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set. Little kids will love reading along and discovering the individual stories of the characters present at Jesus’ birth: the Donkey, Cow, Sheep, Shepherd, Angel, Camel, Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. Each story is meant to be read in the 9-days leading up to Christmas, as you unwrap the 10 wooden figures that correspond to the illustrations in the story! A fun and engaging Christmas tradition for the whole family!

The King Is Coming

Christ Centered Christmas activity The King is Coming Devotion The King is Coming Devotion
By Tiny Theologians

How will your family keep Jesus at the center of the holiday season? This simple set of cards makes it EASY for kids (and parents!) to remember what Christmas is all about! The true King, Jesus, has come and has promised to come again! That’s what we hope to help each family remember with The King is Coming! This set includes 25 cards which double as bright and inviting ornaments for your tree. Just pick a card off your tree each day, and read the key verse on the front. Then, flip the card over to find a short family devotional and a conversation prompt that will help your family engage that day’s key verse and personalize what you are learning. As your family uses these at breakfast, in your morning basket, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, it is our prayer that you remember: Jesus is our King, and he is on his way!

The ABCs of Christmas

The ABCs of Christmas
By Tiny Theologians

This Advent, teach your Tiny Theologians all about Christ! This set of ABC cards helps your children understand what the holiday season is all about: Jesus! With simple and concise definitions on each card and gospel-centered conversation prompts, you and your family can make the month of December all about Jesus.

Countdown to Christmas Card Set

The ABCs of Christmas
By Tiny Theologians

This Advent, teach your Tiny Theologians all about Christ! This set of ABC cards helps your children understand what the holiday season is all about: Jesus! With simple and concise definitions on each card and gospel-centered conversation prompts, you and your family can make the month of December all about Jesus.

Some Other Great Advent Tools

The Heart of Christmas

Since the kids are little, I think we are going to do The Heart of Christmas Ideas from Premeditated Leftovers. It is simple enough and I can tailor it to fit my kid’s age levels.

I love this idea. Basically you take a baby Jesus (I will be using a Little People Nativity one), and hide Him around the house with special instructions for the day for various acts of kindness and ways to focus on Christ. The idea being that each morning, you seek Jesus and His instructions for the day.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger box set includes everything you’ll need to bring the spirit of service into your home. As your Christmas season unfolds your hearts and home will be filled with more joy and love than ever before. This tradition will become a family favorite year after year + it will create some of your most cherished Christmas memories.
We believe in this product and the way it can help shift the focus of Christmas to serving. To us this is more than a business. It’s a way to spread kindness + promote service.  Your support means the world to us!

The Shepherd’s Search

The Shepherd’s Search is very much like the Elf on the Shelf, only he is on the search for baby Jesus.

Truth in the Tinsel

A great way to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season. Each day of advent, Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of Scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your children.

What God Wants for Christmas

What God Wants for Christmas is an interactive learning experience. Seven gift boxes to open will bring your child on a journey to Bethlehem, learning from the Biblical characters the true meaning of Christmas.

The only down side to this is that is only a week’s worth of activities, but especially if your kids are little, you can do it for a couple of weeks before Christmas. Children learn best through repetition. 

Star From Afar

Star From Afar is another Elf alternative. You set up your nativity and every night you hide the star. The next day the children seek out the star and move the wise men to its location and read the corresponding Scripture.

Repeat each day until Christmas eve when you place it over the stable so that the wise men find Jesus on Christmas morning. I will quibble with the fact that the wise men are the ones finding Jesus on Christmas morning, as Scripture says that Jesus was a toddler, mostly likely between 1 and 2 by the time that they came, but it is a fun activity and you could easily explain that to children.

The Good Deeds Manger

The Good Deeds Manger is a Christian activity for the holidays highlighting the importance of doing a good deed daily and treating others with kindness.

This family activity centers on an empty manger during the weeks before Christmas. If you do a good deed, you earn realistic looking pieces of hay to put inside the manger.

Since it’s not likely that the hay will stay put with small children in the house, this is probably better suited for older children.

The Shepherd’s Treasure

This is the one I want to get for next year. The Shepherd’s Treasure is very similar to the Elf, only your shepherd is searching for treasure.

Your Shepherd shows up next to the book that he comes with. You read it as a family, name your shepherd, then the search is on.

Each day your shepherd has adventures looking for the treasure. On Christmas Day, he finds Jesus, the ultimate Treasure.

There website has a bunch of ideas for your shepherd’s search. If you watch their Facebook page closely, they do run some great Black Friday Specials, but they sell out quickly, so check early.

Right now, all of the shepherds are of European descent, but they plan to add more next year.

The Twelve Names of Christmas

The Twelve Names of Christmas is a 12 day ornament base advent activity pack. There is an ornament and two page story for each day.

You can hang all of the ornaments at once when you decorate the tree and then have kids find them, or hang one each day as you tell the story.

The ornaments are pretty and brightly colored. A good alternative for any age.

A Jesse Tree

This is another one that I would love to incorporate in our home.

Based on Isaiah 11:1, the Jesse Tree is an advent tradition the uses 25 ornaments to tell Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus.

There are many, many vendors that sell ornaments (I personally love these), but one of the great things about this tradition is that you can also make your own, either to start with or each year.

The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas is a great resource, as are Pinterest and Google.

I reached out to some fellow bloggers for their advent and Christ centered Christmas ideas, here is what they shared with me:

What are some of your special Christ centered Christmas traditions?

6 thoughts on “Christ Centered Christmas Activities

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