The 12 Gifts of Christmas

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8. Inheritance Ornaments

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Families can begin an ornament-making tradition to decorate the
Christmas trees of future generations.

Stuff: Red chenille wire, red and white tri-shaped pony
beads, and resealable plastic bags.

Have each family member make two candy cane ornaments by stringing
a white pony bead onto the end of the chenille wire and wrapping
the wire around the end of the bead to secure it. Continue to
string beads, two white and then two red, onto the wire until it’s
full. Wrap the wire around the last bead to secure it. Form the
beaded wire into a candy cane shape.

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Let’s Talk: Have parents tell their kids Christmas
traditions they’ve continued from their childhood. Say: These
decorations can be the start of a new tradition for your family.
Place two of the candy canes on your tree this Christmas. Then find
a box at home for each child. Decorate and label each box,
“(Child’s name’s) Christmas Ornaments.” Divide the remaining candy
canes between the boxes and store them. Each year your family can
create new ornaments-enough for your current tree as well as your
children’s ornament boxes. When your children leave home someday,
they can take their boxes of ornaments with them. Then they’ll have
the same ornaments as the family tree.

9. Good News Garland

Families can spread the good news of Christmas to their neighbors
with this simple craft.

Stuff: Plastic cling wrap, red and green ribbon, Christmas
invitation, and hard Christmas candy.

Give each family 2 feet of plastic cling wrap. Place candies in a
line lengthwise on the cling wrap about one inch apart. Carefully
roll the cling wrap around the candies to create a 2-foot candy
rope. Tie ribbons on both ends of the rope and between each piece
of candy. Family members can share their favorite things about
Christmas for each tie. Attach an invitation card to the garland
that includes the time, date, and location of your Christmas Eve
service.

Let’s Talk: Have families imagine and describe what it
would be like to celebrate Christmas without knowing about
Jesus.

Say: Christmas is a great time to invite your neighbors
and friends to church. Use this Good News Garland to extend an
invitation to our Christmas Eve service.

10. Christmas Giving Tree

Families can lend a helping hand and be a light in their community
this Christmas.

Stuff: White construction paper, yellow construction paper
circles, green tempera paint, paper plates, paintbrushes, scissors,
roll art paper, and glue.

Pour green paint onto paper plates. Have families paint each
others’ hands, then press them to white construction paper. As the
paint dries, family members can brainstorm how they can be a light
for Jesus in their communities or neighborhoods during the
holidays. When the prints are dry, cut out each person’s handprint
and arrange and glue all the prints on the roll paper to form one
giant tree shape.

Let’s Talk: Ask families to share their ideas for being a
light in their communities.

Say: This tree represents the hands of our church family.
Hold up the yellow circles. During the holiday season you can light
our community with the ideas you shared. When a family member does
something to be a light for Jesus in the community, please write it
on one of these “Christmas lights,” then attach it to our tree.
This tree will be a visual reminder of how our families are
impacting the community for Jesus this holiday season.

11. Naming God

Give families a new idea for decorating a second tree in their home
that represents the names of God. Families can make their first
ornament at your holiday celebration. Provide them with ideas to
create and collect more ornaments at home.

Stuff: 6-inch wooden dowels, linen fabric, permanent
markers, fabric glue, yarn, and photocopies of the Names of God
reference sheet.

Have family members create an ornament for the name of God, Jehovah
Nissi, which means “the Lord is my banner.” Fold one end of the
cloth piece over the dowel and secure it with glue. Tie yarn at
each end of the dowel for a hanger. Write “Jehovah Nissi: The Lord
Is My Banner” at the top of the banner, then have each family
member draw a symbol that represents God, such as a rock or a
shepherd.

Let’s Talk: Say: The names of God in the Bible reveal God’s
character. Take home this sheet to create more symbols that’ll
remind your family of how great our God is.

Names of God

El Roi: The God Who Sees

Decoration: A mirror. Add family members’ names to the
mirror to remind them that God is always watching and protecting
them.

El Elyon: God Most High

Decoration: Dollhouse chairs (sold at local craft or hobby
stores) painted gold to remind your family that God is King of the
universe.

El Adonai: Master

Decoration: Go to the hardware store as a family and pick
out a master key and remember that God holds the key to our
hearts.

El Shaddai: God Almighty and Source of Comfort

Decoration: Have each family member make a small pillow.
Remember that as our pillows bring us rest and comfort when we
sleep, God always comforts us.

El Olam: Everlasting and Eternal God

Decoration: A soft pouch with a rock enclosed to remember
that God is our solid foundation.

Jehovah: Never-Changing, Self-Existent One

Decoration: Glue blocks together that spell “I AM” and
remember that God’s love is so big it has no beginning and no
end.

Jehovah Rapha: God Who Heals

Decoration: Write the name of each family member on a
bandage and tie them together with ribbon.

12. Sweet Angels

A host of heavenly angels can remind families to spread the good
news of Jesus’ birth.

Stuff: Paper plates, plastic knives, sugar ice cream
cones, small pretzels, Life Savers candies, doughnut holes,
star-shaped sprinkles, and vanilla frosting.

Have each family member make a sweet angel by placing a sugar cone
upside down on a plate and pressing a doughnut hole onto the tip.
Cover the cone and doughnut hole with frosting. Frost and press the
two pretzels to the cone for the angel’s wings. Use a Life Savers
candy for the halo and sprinkles to decorate the body.

Let’s Talk: Ask: How can we share the good news of
Christmas with other people? Do you think the Christmas story is
important to share? Why or why not?

Say: God sent a large group of angels to shout the
wonderful news of Jesus’ birth. Use these sweet angels as a
Christmas centerpiece to remind your family to share the good news
of Christmas.

The combined creative talents of Patty Anderson, Courtney
Branson, Kristy Coughlin, Kami Gilmour, Joanne Reho, and RoseAnne
Sather contributed to this article.

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