The reason my family celebrates Christmas is to celebrate Christ's birth. It seems that everyone agrees that it's not about presents but I've heard people say that the season is about family, friends, our blessings and such. No, it's not about family, not friends, not our many blessings but the ONE Supreme Gift; our God coming to earth to pay for our sins.
Everyone seems to have plenty of Christmas traditions but often a majority of those traditions really don't have a whole lot to do with Jesus Christ. It's easy to celebrate the Christmas without thinking much about Christ. Just think! The one question that children get asked this time of year is "Are you ready for Santa?" People assume you'll be celebrating with gifts and Santa but don't even think about asking if you're excited to celebrate Jesus!
With so many traditions that aren't specifically about Christ, it takes a little extra effort to make sure you pass on the true meaning of Christmas to your children. There's one Christ-focused thing we've been doing the last two years that my children really enjoy. It's an "interactive" nativity set. It has several boxes, each with a character from the story of Christ's birth. The kids take turns opening each one and setting their person in place and we read about that character (Gabriel, Mary, Jospeh, Jesus...) and talk about them and what the story means to us, etc. You can see this nativity set and read more about it here: http://www2.familylife.com/wgwfc/
A brief tidbit on how poor my memory is. Since we got the Christmas stuff down from the attic several weeks ago, I'd been thinking how I'd really like a hands on thing that I could do with the kids and I was thinking maybe there was a nativity set or something I could get from the Christian book store. Finally, last week I went to the bookstore and asked for something that fit this description and the little gal showed me our exact set which we had used a number of times last year. She looked at me like I was a bit nuts when I exclaimed "I have that!!" Sigh. Yeah.
We did it several times last year. Part of my problem is that I didn't put it away with the Christmas stuff. I'll try to remember to do that this year so it'll be there when we start getting stuff down for Christmas.