Godly Grandparenting Matters
Godly Grandparenting Matters is a monthly column that shares tips, books, and other resources to help you in your intentional grandparenting journey. If you have an activity or resource to share, please contact Lynn Dayton (email@example.com) or Jane McGreevy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Most children love Christmas and the weeks leading up to it. As intentional grandparents, we can help teach our grandchildren about Advent and remind them of the real reason for the season. Here are some suggestions from our fellow grandparents:
1) Instead of Elf on a Shelf, move Mary and Joseph around throughout your house on their “journey to Bethlehem” and have them end up at the Nativity Scene on Christmas Eve. (Even if your grandchildren live elsewhere, try to adapt this idea to Facetime as you walk around your house with your grands on your phone.)
2) For elementary age+ grandchildren: Get each sibling to come up with 24 compliments for the other siblings for December 1-24. Grandparent provides stationery with envelopes (cute and inexpensive from Dollar General or Walmart). Younger ones may need help. They write a compliment for each day and put it in a sealed envelope. I did this with my 7-, 9-, and 11-year-olds. They said they had fun doing it! The 7-year-old spent the most time and wrote the most detailed compliments. The girls are excited about opening them together each day!
3) Buy your children a “touchable” nativity as an Advent (not Christmas) present (you want them to have it during Advent). Fisher-Price makes one, and there are wooden child-friendly ones as well. My children loved to re-enact the Christmas story over and over in this way.
4) Take grandchildren to James Island County Park to see the Christmas lights.
5) Make a gingerbread house together.
6) If your grandchildren have “The Jesus Storybook” Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, you can use the excellent Advent resources available at faithgateway.com. If your grandchildren don’t have this Bible, it is one of the best out there for children (recommended by Tim Keller). It’s on sale now through December 6 at christianbook.com!
Resources: Story Time!
There are so many great children’s Christmas books––here are some favorites. For long- distance grandparents, consider setting up a special Advent/Christmas storytime with your grands over Zoom or Facetime. Also consider giving them one of these books each year as a special Advent (not Christmas!) gift.
1) The Story of Christmas by Patricia Pingry
2) The First Christmas by Tomie DePaola
3) The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Hunt
4) The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
5) Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Wilson and Chapman
6) Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck (for toddlers)
7) Wombat Divine by Mem Fox
8) Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant
“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.”––Psalm 103:17
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