Do your kids know what dormant means?  It’s a good time of year to teach them this word! It’s when things slow down for a bit, they don’t grow, but they will reappear soon.  It’s a good time of year to show them the things that are dormant in the yard, and then talk about this funny word as you come in for hot cocoa and the story of Jesus’ birth.

Preparation:  The family will just need paper and colored markers and/or pens!

Take the kids on a yard tour:

Show them how grass doesn’t really grow high in the winter, because it’s dormant.

Talk and ask them about the animals they know that hibernate in the winter and why.

Point to the trees that have lost their leaves and talk about the root system that keeps them alive so that they bloom again come spring.


Take the kids inside by the fire:


Tell them the story of Jesus birth as they listen (you can use a manger scene, or let the kids draw as you share)

Long before Jesus was ever born, his birth was foretold.  This means that God spoke to people about the coming Savior of the World and inspired them to home and believe.  The world was a mess, and people needed hope! You could say their faith was dormant.  Many heard about Jesus and hoped he would come, but over time they grew weary in believing.

Is there something you hope for, but it seems to never come?  Like maybe Christmas morning?  It takes a whole 365 days to wait for it!


Have the kids write 365 on their paper:

A year of 365 days is a long time to wait for Christmas morning!

Finally, it was time for Jesus to be born.  An angel spoke to a young lady named Mary and she became pregnant with God’s son – not because she was married to a man yet – but because God give her this special gift to be Jesus’ mother.  And Jesus was born, just like it was foretold years and years before.  The Savior had come.  The One who would bring hope to the world!

Ask the kids to draw the baby in a manger:

How do you feel when Christmas finally comes?  We all can barely sleep because we are so excited!

That’s the way those who had believed and hoped felt, when they heard the news that baby Jesus was born!  Their dormant faith (remember it’s when something sleeps for a bit but then is awakened and alive again.)  The wise men walked a far distance, as their faith was inspired by the news that Jesus the Savior was born.

Have the kids add the big star in the sky that the wise men followed:

Jesus’ birth brought to life all the years of waiting and waiting, and now the Savior of the World lives forever and ever.  We never have to wait, like they did.  He lives among us, in us, and for us.  Isn’t that awesome?

We’ve been waiting a long time for Christmas, and every year, it finally comes.  Our hope that sometimes goes dormant (to sleep for a bit) is suddenly awakened on Christmas Eve, when we go to sleep awaiting all the gifts under the tree!

Ask the kids to draw a Christmas tree:

The best part of Christmas is awakening the faith in all of us that Jesus came, the Savior of the World, God’s only son, to save us all if we just believe, love Him most, and love others well.

Let each child share their pictures and ask them again what dormant means, and remind them that there’s always good in waiting…even in the dead of winter…for life to appear.  And life will always be present, because Jesus lives in our hearts forever and ever.  Amen.

Dormant December
by Marcy Lytle

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