Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Prov. 22:6 (NKJV)
It is interesting to watch today’s children’s Christmas programs and compare them to those of long ago. It seems that many of those today try to make it entertaining for the children so much that the real meaning of Christmas is sometimes lost. Why do we assume that children today all want something that is “jazzed up” so they can have a fast beat. Children will like the music they are taught to like. We should not assume that they are born liking certain types of music!
I know that some of today’s programs can be very effective, but should we assume that they should all be fast moving and fun? There are four personality types. Only one of those is fun-loving. It would seem to me that any Christmas program should have as its objective to help children understand its real meaning.
I remember church programs with a fondness from my own childhood. One popular inclusion was to spell out the word “Christmas” with placards that each child would hold representing the letters in the word. Parts would be memorized and the word would be spelled out as the child stepped forward. Here is an example:
C H R I S T M A S
C C is for the Christ child
Who was born on Christmas Day.
H H is for heaven,
Where we all can meet someday.
R R is for resurrection
When Jesus came back to life.
I I is for inward peace He gives
To free us from all strife.
S S is for the Savior
Jesus came to save us all.
T T is for tomorrow
Which may be too late on Him to call.
M M is for Mary
The one who gave Him birth.
A A is for Angels
Who announced His coming to earth.
S S is for Salvation
That He came to give us all.
All the letters spell Christmas, a day so meaningful to us all!
As children memorize each part, they have to think about it. To think about it, is to learn about Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. Many times, they will ask their parents or others to tell them what each part means. By doing so, others are learning as well.
It is thrilling to watch children at Christmas in their church programs. I feel a certain sadness, however, when I think of so many children who are not learning the thrill of taking part. The children’s program can be a time for outreach to other children. Nothing tasted any better than the sack of goodies we got at the end of the program. We always got an orange, something hard to get in the winter at that time. There was always one or two chocolates with white centers that some of us looked for first! We would eagerly dig through our sacks and enjoy the different kinds of candy. Many children came just for that!