What is Christmas?
Christmas is a time for celebrations. When you think about celebrating Christmas with kids, you probably think about joy and laughter. Maybe the excitement of gift-giving, the fun of the celebrations and the bright smiles on children’s faces.
Unfortunately, as we all know, this year has been one of anxiety, worry, fear and uncertainty for everyone – including children. With changes to caroling, parties and family budgets, you may be wondering how you can still capture the joy of Christmas with the kids.
The Salvos have good news for you! You and the kids can still experience joy this Christmas! Because the true meaning of Christmas is deeper than presents and Christmas songs. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. His birth gives us joy because it means we are loved by God and we are not alone. We can all have joy at Christmas – whether you are a child or a child at heart. This message can give us joy and hope for the whole year through.
Learn more about the meaning of Christmas
Christmas can be a time for more than just celebrations. It is also a chance to discover the meaning of many things you would find during Christmas. If you’d like to know more about the meaning behind Christmas, you can read it here.
For many people, Christmas is also a time to enrich our spiritual journey and faith, The Salvation Army has long celebrated Christmas by sharing God’s love and joy for everyone. You can also read more about The Salvation Army’s Christian faith.
If life has thrown some challenges and struggles your way, the Salvos want to encourage you to reach out in prayer to God. He wants to help you. We are also willing to pray for you. You can make a request for prayer anytime on our website.
To help explore the joy of Christmas, we have gathered some Christmas activities for families to do together. These are brought to you by The Salvation Army’s Kidzone, a weekly magazine for children aged 5–11. We think you’ll enjoy these easy Christmas recipes, printable activities and stories.
The Christmas story for children
Long ago, an angel visited a woman called Mary. The angel told Mary she would become the mother of a baby boy called Jesus – and he would be the Son of God. Although the news was surprising to Mary, she did not worry about what the future would hold. She trusted that God would look after her.
When the time came for Mary to give birth to Jesus, a census was called. This meant Mary and her husband Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for counting. Unfortunately, so did lots of other people, and there were no guest rooms available for them. They were however offered shelter in what was probably a barn or stable for animals. There, Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him in a manger.
Meanwhile, on a nearby hillside, some shepherds were looking after their sheep when an angel appeared to them. The angel said, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people” (Luke 2:10, NLT). A baby – the Son of God – had been born, and this was good news for everyone.
It is a message of good news because it is one full of hope, joy and comfort. The birth of Jesus reminds us that even though life is full of challenges, we don’t have to face them alone. God sent Jesus into the world to understand our struggles and journey alongside us. This gives us great joy and helps us to have hope for the future.
“The Smallest of All” – A Christmas story for kids
If you’re after a short Christmas story for even the littlest of listeners, check out “The Smallest of All”. It is based on the story from the Bible in Luke 2:8-20, when an angel appeared to the shepherds. Told through the perspective of one of the sheep out on the hillside, it’s a cute interpretation of the very first Christmas.
Fun Christmas activities for the whole family
The Salvation Army wants you to experience the hope and joy of Christmas. We have compiled some activities so you can have fun celebrating Christmas with the kids while learning about its true meaning.
Christmas angels craft and a word search
Get creative with this angelic Christmas craft for kids as you remember the angel who shared the “good news of great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10). All you need to make an angel are some basic supplies from your local craft store. You may even like to make some as budget-friendly, handmade gifts for your kids’ friends.
Star sandwiches and puff pastry stars
In Matthew 2:1–12, the Bible tells the story of wise men who saw a bright star in the sky. This was a message to them that a new king was born. They followed the star then worshipped him with their treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Jesus may not look like a traditional king dressed in royal robes, but he is the King the wise men wanted to find because Jesus is the Son of God. We remember Jesus’ birth through decorating our trees and houses with stars at Christmas. You can share this message through these kid friendly Christmas recipes.
Nativity shepherds and angels colouring sheet
Looking for fun ways to keep the kids busy while you wrap some presents? Set them up with some pencils and these Christmas activities for families with young kids: a colouring page and an activity sheet featuring a spot the difference, maze, word puzzle and more.
Christmas puzzles and activities
This Christmas puzzle sheet comes with word plays and colourful games for some fun Christmas activities.
Visit our Christmas website to read about more ways you can celebrate the good news of Jesus’ birth and experience the true joy of Christmas.