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Baby’s First Christmas

Colleen Oglesby

Classroom and family traditions help children develop lifelong habits and thought patterns. This Christmas help families develop their children's first traditions that'll add spiritual impact and wonderful memories as their children grow.

Christmas ornaments proclaiming "Baby's First Christmas" are often the first in a long line of traditions for infants and toddlers as parents place the ornament on the family tree. You can help young families develop spiritually rich Christmas traditions with these ideas.

• Keepsakes-Make personalized ornaments for children in your nursery and encourage parents to hang them in a special place each year on the Christmas tree. Display a tree in your check-in area with a special ornament for Jesus placed in a position of honor, such as at the top of the tree or below a central light.

• Books-Babies and toddlers love repetition and enjoy having their favorite books read to them over and over again. This Christmas give families the gift of age-appropriate storybooks illustrating Jesus' birth (books such as Christmas Angels by Crystal Bowman and Christmas Baby by Sally Ann Wright).

• Celebrations-Little ones love birthdays, so host a birthday party for Jesus in your nursery and toddler rooms. Invite children to bring small birthday gifts for Jesus that they can donate to the classroom, such as a storybook or toy. (Keep spares on hand for kids whose parents forget or can't afford this, and let them donate the gifts on behalf of your church.) Encourage families to celebrate Jesus' birth at home with cupcakes or a cake. Give families a special tablecloth or place mat for Christmas that kids can draw on each year to record Christmas highlights or spiritual milestones.

• Toys-Purchase an unbreakable nativity set for your classroom that toddlers can hold and touch. Place it on a table or shelf that little ones can reach. Each time your children play with the figurines is an opportunity to tell the story of Jesus' birth.

Colleen Oglesby is a children's ministry consultant and has served for more than 30 years in children's ministry.

nativity_box_110x142nibkitmockright 50_107x146Spread joy and love with a church Christmas program for families that keeps Jesus as the focus of the season!

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