I can still see it in my mind, the candlelit hallway, my younger sister just in front of me, we’d circled the house in the dark and while all the adults held flashlights, we’d wandered through the garage and even sat for a bit in the minivan, and now we were looking inside…We were searching for baby Jesus.
The other children from families my parents had invited into our home that night giggled with us as we moved in a cluster together down the stairs. And then we saw him: my dad in his maroon bathrobe. He was sitting in the center of the room welcoming us to come and join him, a shepherd, eager to tell us of the birth of Jesus, of the star, the wisemen, and that Mary and and Joseph had just left to escape King Herod. Its one of my favorite celebration days from my childhood. Epiphany, sometimes called Three Kings Day, or more often, the last day of Christmas (did you know Christmas Day is actually the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas?) was always my favorite. I loved going on a treasure hunt, I loved hearing the Christmas story one last time, and I loved the hot cocoa and feeling of family and friends gathered around.
Celebrating like this helps bring ideas and truths about our faith to life for our kids. Epiphany may be gone for this year, but here are other ways you can consider celebrating in your family and awakening an imagination for God in your own children too throughout the upcoming seasons!
Many of us are see Valentine’s Day as a holiday when we have to buy cards for our children’s classmates en masse and fret over what to get our spouse and where to go to dinner- but it can also be an incredibly lonely day for so many people. Why not use this holiday to study and memorize 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 with your children? Decorate heart cookies and wrap them up for your neighbors, or send cards, notes and drawings of thanks and kindness to those often overlooked in your community. Finding ways to show love can be one of the most wonderful adventures you and your children can share together!
Host a Passover Seder Meal
Near Easter, read the Story of the Exodus and celebrate a Jewish Seder. Many guides for Christians can be found online that help you and your children to understand the meaning of each element of the table setting and what they symbolized for God’s people in the Old Testament and for us, as believers in Christ today. This one by Ann Voskamp is one we have used and loved! It is a beautiful way to share how Christ is the Lamb of God!
Make Resurrection Cookies
Every year, our family makes this is sweet treat the night before Easter. Its a simple recipe that can help our children understand the death and resurrection of Christ, and even involves placing the cookies in an empty tomb (the oven) overnight- and waking to a surprise! My friend Karen Ehman has created a wonderful resource to walk you through the process of making these cookies and reading scripture to accompany you step by step HERE.
Go Apple Picking and Try Your Hand at A Cider Press
Enjoying the season of the Harvest and showing our children what its like to actually pick fruit off of a tree can be such a fun experience! Many communities have destination spots with corn mazes, a pumpkin patch and hay rides. Enjoy an afternoon there together and then show your children how cider is made- and do it yourself if you can! Point out to them that its the bruised up apples that are too ugly for the shelf, or that have been through circumstances that made them have many bruises that are selected for cider. And that just like when we are bruised or scarred, when God is in control of our lives, He is able to make the sweetest juice from what we thought was ruined.
What are some ways that you share the imagination of God with your children? What pictures or stories help make faith come alive to their young hearts? Share with our community today!