The 12 Gifts of Christmas

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Anticipation, excitement, and wonder-these are the hallmarks of
the Christmas season, especially for children.

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Can we decorate Christmas cookies?

Do you think it’ll snow on Christmas Eve?

I wonder what’s in those boxes under the tree!

In the midst of all the decorations and goodies, the parties and
presents, is the greatest gift of all-just waiting to be discovered
for all to see. Help your families unwrap the most glorious gift
this season-Jesus. Use these crafts, activities, and games to host
an evening for families to rediscover the miracle of Christmas and
help them keep Jesus at the center of the busy holiday season.

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1. Follow the Star

Families can journey together to arrive at a birthday celebration
for Jesus.

Stuff: A host dressed in a shepherd’s costume,
glow-in-the-dark stars (available at www

.orientaltrading.com), one large star cutout, a nativity set, a
Bible, a birthday cake, matches, and three candles.

Before families arrive, make a trail of stars. You’ll need to make
a starting point, three middle stopping points, and an ending
point. Place the appropriate characters and animals from the
nativity at the corresponding stops.

Greet families when they arrive and announce that something
exciting has happened but to find out what it is, they must follow
the stars.

• Starting Point-Let children discover Mary and Joseph and read
aloud Luke 2:1-5. Have children carry the figurines
to the next stop.

• First Stop-Let children locate the stable and animals at this
stop. Read aloud Luke 2:6-7. Continue following the path of
stars with the animals in tow.

• Second Stop-Let children locate the angel and a shepherd at this
point. Read Luke 2:8-20, then continue down the
path.

• Third Stop-Children will find the wise men here. Read aloud Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 before continuing.

• Final Stop-Families will find the large star hanging over the
cake with three candles and the baby Jesus. Explain that Christmas
is a celebration of Jesus’ birth. Light the three candles,
representing these things:

1. The Star of Bethlehem shone brightly over baby Jesus.

2. Jesus, the Light of the World, was born into a dark night.

3. God wants us to be a light for others and show them the way to
Jesus.

Sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and share the cake.

 

2. Star Search

Families get to search for the baby Jesus in a maze of stars.

Stuff: A large manger with a doll wrapped in a blanket,
glow-in-the-dark stars (available at www.orientaltrading.com), fishing line,
scissors, a flashlight, preprinted discussion sheets, and a
glow-in-the-dark star for each person to take home.

Place the manger with the doll in a corner far from the room
entrance. Spread glow-in-the-dark stars on the floor and hang them
from the ceiling using fishing line, with a large star attached to
the manger. Turn off the lights.

Challenge families to find their way through the stars until they
find the manger. Then have them turn on their flashlights while
they talk about the activity using the following preprinted
discussion questions.

• Was it easy or difficult to find the baby Jesus? Explain.

• How is this activity like or unlike searching for Jesus
today?

• How can we learn about Jesus?

• How can we help others learn about Jesus?

Give each person a glow-in-the-dark star to take home. Say: Place
this star next to your bed to remind you that Jesus is the Light of
the World who helps people learn about God.

     

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