Each year I look for a new idea to help turn our hearts more toward the real meaning of the Christmas holiday. I read books aloud, Some over and over. Check out our favorite Christmas book list.
I also like to incorporate the Bible into our holiday reading. Sometimes we read it at breakfast or dinner, sometimes at bedtime. But every year I make it a point to spend a little time each day reading the story of Jesus to our kids.
This year I am trying something brand new. I have one younger one left and she is close to begin older. I created this with little ones in mind. I am going to read through this Bible reading list (using the easiest to understand version I can find) and invite her to join in the story with me. We are going to make this as kinetic as possible. We are going to invite our imagination into the story too. As we read each day I am goin to ask her what she thinks the story looked like (and act it out) what it felt like (the people in the story may have been feeling) even what it smelt like or sounded like. My heart is for her to realize this is not some made up story like our sweet story books but a real-life story that people truly experienced. My prayer is that we will never be the same again after we look at this story with new eyes!
We would love for you to join us. Let us hear from you as you begin to see this narrative open up before your very eyes.
Dec. 1- Genesis 3:1-15 Who is this story about? What were the choices that Adam and Eve made? Do you think it was hard for them? Why? What happened because of their choices? From the very beginning of time God knew we would need Jesus to come! God knew that Jesus was going to be coming from the very beginning. Who is verse 15 talking about? How do you think we could act this story out?
Dec. 2-Isaiah 11:1-3 King David’s dad was named Jesse. (Just like your dad’s name is _________.) This was the family line that the Savior was going to come through. Talk about who is in your family. It was important who Jesus’ family was going to be. God had just the right family for him to be in, just like he chose this family for you to be in. Take time to draw your family. Discuss what Jesus family tree would look like.
Dec. 3- Isaiah 11:6 (This child is Jesus!) But the people did not expect the Savior who was coming to save us to come as a baby. If they thought someone was going to save them who do you think they would expect? (Superman, Spiderman etc,) What about a baby? Do you think they ever thought a baby could save them?
Dec. 4- Psalm 89:3-4 God loved King David and this is a promise he made to him. You could talk about how Kings sit on thrones (act it out) and how the people expected Jesus to do that same thing here…they didn’t expect a baby. Act out a king on a throne.
Dec. 5- Luke 1:5-7 Talk about the oldest people your children know. Discuss what they would think about those people having a little baby to take care of. This is how it would have been for Zachariah and Elizabeth. You can also discuss how it was embarrassing to not have children during this time…people thought that God did not love them or was punishing them for being bad.
Dec. 6-Luke 1:8-11 talk about how Zachariah and Elizabeth were good people. They did not sin and they loved God. What does that mean to you? Have you ever wanted something you did not get? How did that feel? How do you think it made Zachariah and Elizabeth feel to have wanted a baby so very much, but they could not have one?
Dec. 7-Luke 1:12-17 Talk about what the angel might have looked like. Imagine with them. What might it have been like to have an angel show up. Discuss what the angel says to them. Draw a picture of what you think this scene might have looked like? Show me what you think Zachariah looked like when the angel showed up?
Dec. 8-Isaiah 40:3 This prophecy is talking about the same child that the angel is talking about. Zachariah and Elizabeth’s baby is going to make a way for Jesus. Go before Jesus. (let them act out what that could mean to them.) Can you make a way for someone else. Make a obstacle course and let them make a way for a sibling to go through the course.
Dec. 9-Malachi 3:1 This is another prophecy from a totally different man about this very same baby, John (more than 400 years before Jesus was born.) This was hidden in the scripture. Who was the messenger God was sending? Who was he making a way for? God hides things for us to find in his scriptures and in life. We just have to look for them. Hide something for each other to find. Talk about how much fun it is to hide/find things. Talk about how we can always be looking for the things the Lord hides for us. He is a loving and fun Dad who has blessings for us just like this scripture about John.
Dec. 10-Luke 1:18-20 talk about what happened with the angel. What happened with Zachariah. Talk about what is must have been like to have to have been silent for all that time. Pretend it. Would that be hard? Try really hard to not say anything for 5 minutes. How did you communicate? Was it easy? How do you think it would be to have to be silent for months?
Dec. 11-Luke 1:21-29 What did Elizabeth do when she heard the news. Act that out. Would that be hard. Why do you think she went off to be by herself? What happened to Mary? What was her reaction to the angel? Why do you think Mary was worried? Act this out.
Dec. 12-Isaiah 7:14 God told us through Isaiah (more that 600-700 years before Jesus was born) that Jesus would be born from a woman who was not married. What did Isaiah say the child would be called? It means “God with us.” Why would it be encouraging to know the child would be called God with us? Imagine as many situations as you can that you child is in. Is God with you when you go to bed? Wake up? Discuss how they never have to be alone.
Dec. 13-Luke 1:30-38 What does the angel tell Mary? What does the angel call Jesus? What does the angel say about Mary’s cousin Elizabeth? (Verse 37 would be a great one to memorize.) What does Mary say to the the angel at the very end of their conversation? Act out how surprised you think Mary was when she saw the angel? Where do you think she was when the angel came? Imagine as much as you can about the story. You could even do it a second time with a different scene.
Dec. 14- Luke 1:39-45 Where did Mary go after the angel came to her? How were Elizabeth and Mary related? Talk about who your cousins are. What does Elizabeth say to Mary? What does the baby inside of Elizabeth do when Mary comes near? Act this out.
Dec. 15-Luke 1:46-56 What does Mary say after all this happens with Elizabeth? What are some of things that Mary says about the Lord? She may have been singing these words as a song to the Lord. Make up a song about the wonderful things the Lord has done for you.
Dec. 16- Matthew 1:18-24 Who appears to Joseph? What is Joseph doing when the angel appears to him? What is Joseph’s response to what he learns from the angel? Act this out.
Dec. 17-Luke 1:57-66 How do Elizabeth’s friends act in response to the good news of the baby? What is the amazing thing that happens with Zachariah after John is named? What do you think this was like for all the people who saw this happen? Act this out in all the ways it could have been like for them. How excited do you think Zachariah was after he could speak?
Dec. 18-Luke 1:67-80 Who does verse 67 say Zachariah was filled with? What happens? What does the Holy Spirit say through Zachariah Jesus? What are the names of Jesus revealed here? Who is still talking here? What does this first verse say about God? What was God going to do for man through Jesus? Using the visual picture of Jesus begin a light in darkness act this out with a flashlight and let them shine light into dark places. And talk about how Jesus “guides our feet in peace.”
Dec. 19- Micah 5:2 This prophecy mentions a place. What place is mentioned? We are told hundreds of years before Jesus that he is going to be born in Bethlehem. And we are told that Jesus will come through the family (tribe) of Judah. He is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Spend some time talking about why a lion would be a good picture to compare Jesus to.
Dec 20-Luke 2:1-7 Talk about how they had to go to their hometown to register. What is your hometown? Discuss registering. (to be counted) Where did they have to go to? (103 miles) Compare it to a distance they are familiar with. How did they get there? Be a donkey and let them ride on your back…how would it be to ride all the way on a donkey? Act out the stable and feeding trough. Take a long walk…talk about how much longer Mary and Joseph had to have gone.
Dec 21-Isaiah 9:6-7 What all did Isaiah tell us? What does he call Jesus? Talk about reigning on a throne and talk about what kings did during this time. Act out being a king.
Dec. 22- Isaiah 40:4-5 Talk to the kids about how Jesus came to make a way for us. Act out mountains begin leveled and valleys being lifted up. Talk about how this is what He does for us. He helps us when we are low and when we have obstacles He helps us overcome them. Set up large pillow obstacles and ‘OVERCOME’ them together. Verse 5 says something is going to appear…what is it?
Dec 23- Luke 2:8-12 What are the shepherds doing in the field? (act this out) Be sure to talk about how it is dark outside. Who shows up? What “shone around them?” What does the angel say to them? Did they know that this was really happening? What do you think they are going to do? What do you think it smelled like in the field? What do you think it is like living out in a field with sheep all the time, every single night?
Dec 24: Luke 2:13-15 Review yesterday and then read what happens next. Who else comes? What do you think that light must have been like? What would you think sitting in that field watching your sheep in the dark and all of a sudden a bunk of angels show up? What do the angels say? What do the shepherds decide to do after the angels leave?
Dec. 25- Luke 2:16-20 What do the shepherds find when they come to Bethlehem? What do they do after they see the baby that the angels had told them about? Imagine being a shepherd who had heard from and angel about a baby you just found. Would you be excited? Celebrate like you think the Shepherds celebrated that day.
If you would like a copy of our reading list you can click HERE and download your own.