Parenting

How to explain Christmas to your child

Ankita A Talwar
3 to 7 years

Created by Ankita A Talwar
Updated on Dec 25, 2017

How to explain Christmas to your child

“Hey, it is Christmas. Do you know what Christmas is about,” I asked my 3-year-old toddler. “It is about Santa Claus, who comes to give us gifts, and I want a pink car with a pink remote,” pat came the reply. I tried again - “But, that is what Santa is about, but what is Christmas about?

“Mumma, can we got out to play now? I can hear the sounds of children downstairs,” she replied, clearly indicating, that she had answered what she knew and was not interested in repeating it. Period. Packing her in her warm jacket, my mind kept thinking about how I could explain the ethos of this warm festival of joy and sharing, without the gifts taking center stage. And then the answer dawned on me. I needed to explain to her in her own language. Read on to find out how you can explain Christmas to your little ones.

How To Explain Christmas To Your Child?

It is natural for a child to assume that Christmas is about cake and exchanging gifts and secret Santa! If you’d like to tell her what the festival is all about, here are a few tips.

  1. Tell her the story: Children love stories narrated the good, old-fashioned way starting with “Once upon a time…
    1. Narrate the story in a way she likes it
    2. She will be curious to learn how Jesus was born and how the three wise men followed the star to the manger. My child asked in amazement - “Jesus, didn’t have a bed?” She couldn’t believe it! “And yet he loved us!” was something she was delighted to hear about
  2. Be expressive, use props: Story telling for little ones, should come with all the works—the animation, the dresses, the sound effects.
    1. You could also set up a manger in the house, using straw or packing materials, and her dolls as the wise men, baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
    2. Share the values: Is three too young an age to explain a value, or the concept of God, or how God takes care of us. Not really! But, any sort of rituals, maybe! So intentionally, tell them the purpose of Christmas, how God gave his only son to us, humans, and how he loves us.
    3. Children understand love beyond all other concepts and the idea of being taken care of by someone so strong and large-hearted will warm them up. It certainly made my child smile!
  3. Santa, real of myth: This is the tricky one. However much we may want to be real to them, the debate on fact versus fiction is something, you need to decide for your child. For mine, I kept it blurred. While the Santa who lives on the North Pole, with his Little Elves, is a fiction, the Santa who we can be is real. I am the Santa to my child, and she can be a Santa to the countless little children of the world who are alone in this cold, cold weather. We piled out car with toys she was willing to give away, warm clothes, and some goodies, and drove to a slum where we gave the stuff away. As little as she maybe, she got the point. And on the way back, remarked, “Mumma, I could have given away the blue teddy also. I don’t play with it anymore.” Mission Accomplished!
  4. Keep the fun alive: Children need some fun too. They need the red costumes, the rosy cheeks, the HO-HO-HO of Father Christmas. Keep that alive.
    1. There are many shops where you can rent-a-Santa
    2. Pre-decide on the gifts or the value of gifts, and have the Santa visit your house on a playdate. He can handover the gifts to the little ones, do his ho-ho-ing and leave
  5. Take her for a service: Do not miss out on the Christmas Service or prayer at the Church.
    1. It will communicate to the child how everyone gets together to celebrate it and it is not just something you do at home
    2. Carry a small hymn book, or download the popular hymns, from the internet. She can repeat them after you and participate in the service
    3. As I plan to take my toddler to the service, I asked her again, “What is Christmas?” “It is the day when God sent Jesus to us to love us. And I love Christmas. I get gifts and I get to give gifts.” Happy mother

So make this season meaningful for your child. We wish you a Merry Christmas!

How did you tell your child all about Christmas? Share your experience with us in the comments section!

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| Dec 23, 2017

Very well written... enjoyed reading it

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| Dec 26, 2014

sweet touching and helpful too

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| Dec 26, 2014

sweet touching and helpful too

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| Dec 24, 2014

Excellent way of telling a kid about Christmas and Jesus Christ( who mostly takes a backstage for kids due to undue popularity of Santa) ! Santa's example has been used beautifully to inculcate the virtue of sharing ! Simply loved reading it!

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| Dec 24, 2014

Have been telling my 3 year old daughter about X'mas and Santa since a month. Now she is so much excited about and waiting for that day when she gets her gift from her dear Santa. It's a different experience .

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| Dec 24, 2014

good ideas. well written

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| Dec 24, 2014

simple tips but well explained

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| Dec 24, 2014

good article

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| Dec 24, 2014

nice blog. ilike the ideas too.

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| Dec 24, 2014

very well written blog... good ideas too

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| Dec 24, 2014

very nice blog... and not only x-mas but i think any festival can be explained in this way

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