This post is part of my ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series. To see all posts in the series, click here.
When I was a young child, I thought it was fun to write X-mas instead of Christmas. It’s always great to take a shortcut, right? Then someone told me that if you wrote X-mas, you were leaving “Christ” out of Christmas! That was the last time I wrote X-mas for years to come.
Finally someone pointed out that instead of the X replacing Christ, the X actually stood for Jesus. On a treasure map, the X is where you want to be. X is the treasure, and so is Jesus! So how can we combine these two ideas, the X on the treasure map and the X of the true treasure, Jesus?
Treasure Map Fun
There is something about homeschooling that brings out the wonder of maps for my family. Perhaps it’s because one of our school years was spent “traveling” around the United States and another was spent “traveling” around the world. Even though travels aren’t our main focus this year, we still pull the map out constantly. So why should Christmas be any different? Use your own treasure map to discover where the heart of Christmas is truly found–in Christ.
- Gather items that reflect the meaning of Christmas. We included a few of our favorite biblical Christmas books, a nativity, a Bible, and a map of where Jesus lived, with an X marking Bethlehem. You could even throw in some nativity stickers, candy canes with the Legend of the Candy Cane poem attached, a Christmas CD with songs about Jesus, etc. Anything you like to use to reflect the meaning of Christmas will work.
- Wrap up your treasures like a Christmas present or, if you are really adventurous, decorate a box like a treasure chest and glue on fake jewels. The sparklier and more treaure-like, the better!
- Create a rough treasure map of your house. We like to draw our treasure maps on crumpled sheets of brown paper or open paper bags. If you have older children, you could let them be the mapmakers. Then decide on a location to place your treasure and mark an X on the map where you will hide your Christmas treasure.
- Time for the treasure hunt!
- Once your children have found the treasure, spend some time reading the Christmas story, examining the map, and enjoying the other Christmas activities that point to the true meaning of Christmas.
I still prefer to write “Christ” in my Christmas. Even when we see “X-mas,” however, it is a great reminder that Christ is THE meaning of Christmas. Try as they might, the world can never take that away. Once you have Jesus in your heart, you are going to want to share Him with others too. You might want to try our favorite Christmas service project or a Blessings Bag to brighten someone’s day. However you celebrate, I pray the true meaning of Christmas stays in your heart!
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11 NIV
How do you celebrate the true treasure of Christmas?
Tara is a homeschool mom who lives in Nashville, TN with her family of 5. Visit her at MinivanMinistries.com, where she blogs about making Jesus the driving force in your family. Her goal is to help you help your kids fall in love with Jesus. You can also hang out with her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and follow MinivanMin on Periscope. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!