Many of us acknowledge that the true meaning of Christmas gets lost in commercialism. To give the focus of Christmas back to Jesus, we need to sees all the signs and symbols of his birth that surround us in our Christmas decorations . In this dynamic and interactive activity, participants do a guided tour of Christmas symbols as a scavenger hunt. By assigning reading parts to every child in your group, everyone gets a chance to participate.
Supplies for the Christmas Symbols Scavenger Hunt
- Helper’s symbols guide (1 copy)
- Leader’s symbols guide (1 copy)
- 11 objects for the scavenger hunt
- Fir tree (Christmas tree)
- Santa Claus ornament
- 3 Wise Men figurines
- Angel figurine
- Candy Cane
- A statue of Santa bowing down in front of baby Jesus (shop The Catholic Company for figurine or Chrismas ornament)
- Santa hat
Setup for the Christmas Symbols Scavenger Hunt
- Distribute the symbolic objects at various locations throughout your church. Mark their location on your copy of the leader’s guide for reference. (Consider whether you can incorporate some objects that are already on display for your normal Christmas environment. For a example, a Christmas tree and a nativity star.) If desired, make the items semi or completely hidden.
- Place the statue of Santa bowing down in front of Jesus crib at a special location like the church altar.
Put on a Santa hat and make a sad face. Tell the students that Santa is sad that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost in commercialization and materialism. He has asked us all to be his helpers to bring Christ back into Christmas. To do this, we need to spread the word about the significance of Christmas symbols and how they relate to Jesus’ birth.
Christmas Symbols (#1-11) Scavenger Hunt
Pass out the 11 helper’s guide sheets randomly to students. If less than 11 kids, give some kids get 2 sheets.
Walk to the location of symbol 1. Ask the kids to find that particular symbol if it is partially hidden or fully hidden. Then have Reader 1, read outloud for everyone the significance of that symbol. Continue with symbols 2 though 11.
When the 11 symbols are finished, go together to the statue of Santa bowing in front of baby Jesus.
Final Christmas symbol: Santa bowing in front of baby Jesus
Show the children the porcelain figurine of Santa bowing in front of baby Jesus. (Similar item can be purchased at The Catholic Company as a figurine or Chrismas ornament). Tell the kids that Santa says:
“Remember, the true meaning of Christmas. Do not put me in the center. I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship HIM, our LORD, our GOD. May all glory be given to God in all that we do.”
Explain that Santa wants us to go out out and teach other children the significance of Christmas symbols tying to Jesus; birth. We need to help others “keep Christ in Christmas.”
Host Scavenger hunt for other classes
Invite other faith formation classes to learn about Christmas symbols by having your students host the scavenger hunt for them. Either have your students give guided tours or have various students stay at a symbol station and explain that particular symbol as the other students visit
Home based scavenger hunt
For family-based faith formation, ask families to setup a Christmas symbols scavenger hunt around their house. See this activity for printable clues that are all ready for you to quickly setup the discover of 10 different symbols in various places of your house.