Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A site called Tip Junkie is talking about different ways to keep Christ the focus of your Christmas and I really appreciate all of the ideas being shared. (New ideas to try!)
As I think about the short number of days until Christmas I feel the need to keep my own thoughts focused more on the Savior. I want to slow down and truly feel and see the beauty of this time of year. I want to be part of bringing a little more peace into this world and teach my children to focus more on others.
One specific idea someone shared was to pay for the fast food order of the car behind you, or the car behind you if you were driving through a Christmas light display.
Do any of you have an idea of anonymous service, little things that can be done day to day to bring a little more kindness into the world?
We would love to hear your ideas!
I think doing kind deeds for others on a daily basis may be the best tradition of all!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
(This song is song to the tune "Itsy Bitsy Spider")
The itsy bitsy shepherd went up to Bethlehem.
(walk two fingers up your arm)
Down came the starlight to lead him to the inn.
(start above head and wiggle fingers down)
Out came the sunshine to start a brand new day.
(join hands, with arms raised over head)
And the itsy bitsy shepherd saw Jesus on the hay.
(cradle arms as if rocking a baby)
This second song is sung to the tune "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
Twinkle, twinkle, Christmas star,
How I wonder what you are.
Shining high up in the sky,
Showing all where Jesus lies.
Twinkle, twinkle, Christmas star,
How I wonder what you are.
Simple, but oh so sweet!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Gift giving has become a big part of Christmas tradition, so much so that we can sometimes forget the reason for the season.
While we are plotting and planning what gifts to give our family and friends we could also include some gifts for our Savior on the list.
About.com has a list of Top 10 Spiritual Gifts to Give the Savior.
These are gifts that are not only meaningful at this time of year, but the whole year through and an eternity to come.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
1 lb ground beef (or lamb)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper and allspice to taste
Brown the pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.
Saute the onion in butter. Add the meat and spices. Saute until tender. Add browned pine nuts and lemon juice. Mix well.
Roll dough into small balls (raquet ball size), flatten into 3 inch circles on a greased cookie sheet. Spread meat stuffing evenly on top of circles to within 3/8" from the edge.
Bake at 400 until meat and dough are lightly brown (about 7-8 minutes)
Optional: Serve with Laban, a yogurt spread.
Put your yogurt in the cheesecloth. The yogurt will start to drain off liquid. Allow it to drain over night in the refridgerator. (you will have to figure out a way to hang the cheesecloth over a bowl without touching the liquid) The result is a creamy spread that is yummy on meat pies and pita bread.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Do you know of any traditions from other countries that help you remember Christ at Christmas? Please share with us!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Another article in the Segullah archive is I Believe in Santa. But I Didn't Used To about a young mother who decided it was a good thing for her small children to believe in Santa. She sees it as a first step of faith that could be transferred into faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I love the idea of doing sugar cookies and using cookie cutters that go along with the symbols you talk about in the lesson.
My ever faithful Sugar Cookie recipe can be found at Everyday Recipes.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Spencer W. Kimball
"It is not what we receive that enriches our lives, it is what we give."
"The response of the selfish will always be that
Neal A. Maxwell
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Years ago I learned of this video/music combination in Church. It is the video "The Nativity" produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the song "Breath of Heaven" sung by Amy Grant. They are quite beautiful when you play them together and we watch them together every year.
I have always just played them together manually myself by turning down the volume on the tv and turning on the cd and the video at the same time. With the blessings of the internet there are a few people that have done the work for you and have posted it on YouTube.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
(The links included in this list will connect you with the specific post on this blog with more details for that idea)
- Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday!
- Make thank you notes to use after Christmas
- Learn a Christmas hymn to sing as a famil
- Play the wise man game
- Introduce the baby Jesus secret service in your home
- Read an uplifting Christmas classic like "A Christmas Carol" together as a family
- Make pita bread and read bread of life scripture
- Read a Christmas story from the Friend or Ensign
- Write down on paper, roll up and tie with a bow a gift you are going to give to the Savior this year
- Cut general shapes and many colored pieces of felt to make a flannel board nativity and leave it out for children to retell story
- Make simple costumes to act out the nativity story
- Act out nativity story while someone read from Bible
- Write letters and make cards to send to loved ones far away
- Make cookies together and secretly leave at someone's doorstep
- Make bread to deliver to neighbors or shut-ins with a tag that has the bread of life scripture
- Color or paint a picture of the shepherds
- Color or paint a nativity scene and hang it in your home
- Watch an uplifting Christmas dvd together
- Watch Luke 2 video while listening to "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant
- Have a "white" Christmas--attend the Temple
- Go shopping together for sub for santa or angel tree gifts
- Donate good quality used books to your public library
- Help children clean out toys and donate good used ones to charity
- Make dinner for a shut in
- Help children write a story about being there at the manger on Christmas night
- Write a note to a missionary
- Have a Bethlehem dinner
- Tell story of the miracle of loaves and fishes. Sit on blanket and eat fish sticks, or fish crackers and bread and talk about miracles Christ performed
- Have a family Christmas music night, sing together, play instruments, get kazoos so everyone can participate
- Attend a live nativity together
- Listen to Handel's Messiah and learn story behind music
- Make a Christmas advent candle, and read a Christ related scripture each night as candle burns
- Wrap meaningful and uplifting Christmas books and open one each day and read together
- Collect uplifting Christmas stories and compile in a binder to read as a family each day
- Collect or make from paper symbols of Christmas and teach children the meaning. They could draw one from a gift bag and tell how it reminds them of Christ
- Go for a night time winter walk and enjoy the beautiful stars and talk about the special star that appeared at Christ's birth
- Make star shaped sugar cookies, make a tag with scripture that tells of signs at birth of Christ and share with someone
- Make nativity Christmas cards to send
- Make handprints of children, cut out and print"I will have helping hands for Jesus"
- Determine a need and perform a service anonymously
- Forgive and make amends with someone
This year I discovered Pandora. It is a commercial free internet radio that allows you to customize your "channel" to your likes and dislikes. You are able to type in the artists or songs you like and they will play music that is similar. Today I made myself a Holiday channel by typing in Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Sarah McLauchlan, Josh Groban, Amy Grant, etc and selecting their holiday version. Now all I have to do is turn up the volume on my computer and I can have a wide array of Christmas music wafting through my house.
Handel's Messiah is another all time favorite of mine. The spirit of that music is unlike any other. There is a book availible that tells the story behind Handel's Christmas music.
Teach a Christmas hymn to your family that they do not already know and sing it together in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
We have had so much fun having a special evening set aside to share Christmas music that we sing or play on different instruments. We love playing Christmas music on the bells, flute, violin, cello, harp, trumpet guitar, and piano. It is never perfect and it is a good thing that all the windows are shut so no one else can hear, but it is a lot of fun.
We have felt so blessed when a group is out caroling and comes to our door to sing a beautiful carol to us. How wonderful it would be to go and sing to someone in a nursing home or hospital.
We have some friends that have a Christmas tradition of have having families come over and gather around their piano and sing Christmas carols together and share goodies. It is a great way to share in the friendship and music of the season.
Make it a tradition to go to local Christmas concerts even if it is just supporting the highschool band.
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
Monday, December 1, 2008
One idea is to display beautiful pictures of the Savior in prominent places in your home. We have moved pictures to place on easels with evergreens around to make them become an important part of the Christmas decorating of our home. An inexpensive source for pictures are old calendars or church publications.
What do you do in your home to emphasis Christ in your decorations?