Teaching Your Toddler the Meaning of Christmas

5 min read

Last Modified 8 January 2024 First Added 26 October 2023

The festive season is upon us, and as adults, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of Christmas. From the decorations to the delicious feasts, to opening gifts, it can all be quite thrilling.

Amidst all the sparkle and tinsel, we often forget the true meaning of Christmas, so let’s rediscover the joy of Christmas in the eyes of our toddlers.

Explaining the Origin of Christmas

We recommend being gentle with your child when explaining the concept of Christmas as it may take some time to grasp. Use simple language and try to make it fun for them; whether you try to be more animated, or use a funny voice, or find a fun video. We recommend keeping the topic light for children to take interest.

Here are some ways to teach them about Christmas:

Remember to make it fun and age-appropriate.

Christmas household.

Team Them All About Generosity

Christmas is so much more than just receiving gifts and being spoilt with scrumptious meals. It’s also about giving and sharing, a lesson that is essential for toddlers to learn. This prevents your little one’s from focusing on materialistic aspects of the season and impart important life lessons. True generosity is being able to gift without having any expectations on receiving something in return.

Here are some great ways to teach generosity:

  • Donating a toy, book, or clothes to charity. Fill up a box of old toys and goods you no longer use or need, allow your little one to take the lead in sorting their belongings and give them a big hug for wanting to make someone else’s day.
  • Baking some Christmas goodies for your child’s class or chosen charity.
  • Participate in trails, events or activities for charity.

By introducing generosity into your child’s life, you’re not only teaching them a valuable trait, but also compassion and kindness to everyone around them.

Be Crafty with Handmade Presents and Cards

Handmade gifts have such a unique charm and can leave a lasting impression. Encourage your little one to get messy and creative as they design their own gifts and cards, they can use paints sets and pens and pencils to create their own masterpiece. These heartfelt creations are also valued, they are from the heart and take true effort and time to create.

Read our article ‘7 Creative Christmas Crafts for Toddlers’ for more inspiration in the festive season.

Explain the Traditions of Decorating at Christmas

Decorating at Christmas is a rich tradition throughout the season with many households taking decor very seriously.

As you set up your nativity scene (if that is your style) its significance with your little one and why this scene is cherished in many households. Explain why we put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with details such as the star which represents Jesus as the light of the world (which is why we also wrap our trees in lights) or the angel harking back to the nativity.

To keep your toddler engaged, involve them in the decorating challenge:

  • Arranging ornaments.
  • Sorting decorations by colour such as baubles and tinsels.
  • Choosing the tree topper.
  • Assisting with the lights.

This activity will be something they are bound to remember and can lead to a lovely family tradition.

Child placing present under tree.

Teach the Meaning Behind Giving and Receiving Gifts at Christmas

It is important for children to understand that Christmas is a joyful time of year, whether celebrated for religion or cultural reasons. Children may tend to focus on receiving gifts, however, it is our responsibility to teach the true meaning of giving and receiving.

Share the story of The Three Wise Men, explaining the concept and outcome of each of the men’s choices. This is a great story to teach how one can be grateful and show humility in everything they do in life.

Make this season not only about decorations and presents but also about sharing joy, love, and the true spirit of Christmas, giving to those in need.

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