It's that time of year again. The time for tree trimming, Christmas songs and cookies. And believe me, I LOVE it all! The parades, the gifts, the carols, and even some silly movies. But there's one thing that worries me - I know the true meaning of Christmas, but with everything my children see I wonder if they really know what Christmas is all about. Do they really know that the God of the Universe, the One who made the heavens and the earth, the One who made us,
to come to earth,
as a baby,
was born in a stable.
Some of us know the story, but it's not just a story, it's an amazing truth that forever changed humanity.
God, Himself, came to earth. He came to be the perfect sacrifice for us,
to redeem us,
That is not something that I want my children to be confused over.
So, years ago I began inviting friends and their children over for a 'Happy Birthday Jesus' Party. This year marks my 7th year of creating a special day just to remember what Christmas is all about for children.
and a Birthday cake, of course...
But this year, for the first time, I created a Christmas play!
I simply read the story of Jesus' birth straight from the Bible
and had the children act it out.
(I read all of Luke chapter 2 and Matthew 2:1-12)
Okay, I also made some scenery to go with the story...
here are the Shepherd's sheep-I made two of them.
I attached them to a box so they wouldn't fall over as
the shepherds pulled them onto the 'stage'.
he's attached to a scooter
so that Mary could 'ride' in on her donkey.
attached to a baby doll cradle.
a stable and the star.
Here is the cast!
Eleven older children acted out the story of Jesus' birth
for their younger brothers and sisters and moms.
When the play ended we sang, "O Come all Ye Faithful"
and "Hark the Herald Sing."
After the play we sang "Happy Birthday Jesus" altogether-
all 35 of us!!!!
(YES, I invited 27 children over and their moms
and I honestly wanted more).
(I asked the children if they knew the story of the candy cane
and one little boy knew and told everyone).
Here we are,
squished into my home to celebrate Jesus!
Afterwards, I set up Christmas games.
This game was like the old 'hot potato' game
except it was a present-wrapped TEN times.
Each time the music stopped, the person holding the gift
had to unwrap one layer to find a question.
Each of the ten questions were taken from the Nativity story.
(ie: What town were Joseph and Mary from?)
If the child knew the correct answer they got to stay in the game,
if not, they were out.
The last child to unwrap the gift opened it up to find
the chocolate kisses enough to share with everyone.
'Pin the star on the stable.'
I created this game for the little guys- children 5 and under.
I simply ordered a nativity set of window clings,
and glued them to blue poster board (adding the brown stable and yellow hay)
Next, I made the 'stars' the children would use to 'pin' to the board,
laminated it all and voila!
Another game we did was
"Trim the tree."
For this game we had one person be the 'tree'
and used the help of two older kids and two younger ones
to help wrap him up like a tree,
put a star on top,
and decorate him/her with ornaments.
but they got the hang of it after seeing the other teams.
We had such a great time!
And I have to say,
The thing I thought about most at the end of the day
was just how much I love each and every person who entered my home.
Then I thought about just how much more God loves each and every one of them.
I thought about how God's love is the whole Christmas story.
The whole story, from start to finish, is about God's love for humanity.
He LOVES us.
If these children know the love of God deep in their hearts, (and I believe that got to see a bit of it today), then I can rest - for that's all that really matters.
God loves us!