10- Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Christmas bells are ringing.
Hear what they say to you:
Jesus is born in Bethlehem, in Bethlehem.
(Optional descant for voice or instrument)
Christmas bells, ringing, singing:
Jesus is born, is born
in Bethlehem, born in Bethlehem.
1. Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heav’nly song?
3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
*For Younger Children* Read or tell “Room for Three” (Friend Dec 2006). Testify of the importance of showing love to others, especially our siblings.
Brent ran downstairs, his little sister, Lindsey, following close behind. “Mom!” Brent cried. “Lindsey won’t leave us alone!”
Brent’s best friend, Clint, had come over to play. The boys were playing with Brent’s fire truck and putting out the fires in the skyscrapers they had built out of blocks. “Lindsey always wants to do what we’re doing,” Brent said. “Why can’t she go away?”
“Brent, please be nice to your sister. She just wants to spend time with you,” Mom said.
“But, Mom, she always wants to tag along. Can’t she do something else for a while?”
“How about if we color together, Lindsey?” Mom asked. Lindsey nodded.
“Thanks, Mom,” Brent said as he started back up the stairs.
“Don’t forget, Brent,” Mom called after him. “You and Clint have practice for the Christmas program in less than an hour.”
“OK, Mom,” Brent replied.
“Mommy, why doesn’t Brent like me?” Lindsey asked, tears forming in her eyes.
“He does like you,” Mom said. “But sometimes he just wants to be with his friends. Brent loves you very much, even if he doesn’t always show it.”
A little while later, Mom took Brent and Clint to the church to practice for the Christmas program. Brent was excited.
He was going to play Joseph this year. Before, he’d always been a sheep or a shepherd or a Wise Man. That was neat, but this year would be the best ever.
“OK, we’re going to practice the scene at the inns,” Brother Mitchell said. “Joseph and Mary, take your places. Innkeepers, it’s time.”
The Primary children hurried to their places onstage as Joseph and Mary approached the first inn.
“Please, do you have a room that we could stay in for the night?” Brent asked. “My wife is going to have a baby very soon, and she needs a place to rest.”
“I’m sorry. There’s no room,” the innkeeper said.
“Come on, Mary. Let’s try another place,” Brent said. They walked to the next innkeeper. “Hello, sir. We’ve come a long way, and my wife is going to have a baby very soon. Do you have a place where we can stay?”
“No, we’re all full. There’s no room.”
Brent went to the next innkeeper and knocked on the door, then the next, and then the next. The answer was always the same.
“There’s no room.”
“I’m so sorry, Mary,” Brent said. “Let’s try this one last place.” He turned and knocked on the door. “Sir, please, we’re very far from home, we have no place to go, and my wife is going to have a baby very soon. We’ve tried every inn in town. Do you have anywhere that we could stay?”
“I’m sorry. We’re all full.”
Joseph and Mary turned away slowly, looking sad. “I’m sorry, Mary,” Brent began. “I don’t know what—”
“Wait! Wait just a moment,” the innkeeper called after them. “Maybe I have a place after all. Come with me.” The innkeeper led them to the stable with cows, sheep, and other animals. “It’s not much, but you can stay here if you like.”
“This is wonderful,” Brent said gratefully. “Thank you very, very much.”
A few days later, Clint was at Brent’s house again. They were playing in a big box, pretending it was a fort that protected them from invaders. But Lindsey kept bothering them, asking if she could come inside too.
“Lindsey, why don’t you go do something else? Can’t you see that there’s no room for—” Brent stopped mid-sentence. He thought of the words that he’d heard just a few days before: “No room, no room, no room.” He thought of Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus, who meant so much to all of them. Then he looked at his little sister.
“I’m sorry, Lindsey. Of course there’s room for you. There’s always room for three.”
Discuss the following questions as a family:
1- Who did Lindsey want to play with?
2- Who was Brent in the Christmas play?
3- Did Lindsey want to play in the fort?
4- Did Brent let Lindsay play in the for?
Testify of the importance of showing love to others, especially our siblings.
*For Teenagers or Adults* Read or tell “A Christmas Gift of Love” (New Era Dec 1986). Testify of the importance of remembering the true meaning of Christmas and the blessings of love.
It was almost Christmas. I arrived home fatigued from walking and disappointed with the day’s events. It had been three months since I had graduated from the Church College of Hawaii and returned home to my family in the Philippines. But the only work I had been able to get was selling encyclopedias door to door.
“Any luck today?” Mother asked hesitantly, seeing the tired look in my eyes.
“Oh, not really, I guess encyclopedias aren’t popular Christmas gifts these days.” There was pain in my voice. I needed to sell at least one set of encyclopedias so I could buy Christmas presents for my family. For three years I had missed spending the holidays with my family. I had yearned for this moment. But even more I had looked forward to showering them with presents. Now with only two days until Christmas, I had no money. Suddenly, I felt two loving hands around me. It was Mila, my youngest sister. “Don’t worry about my chocolates,” she whispered. “Sweets aren’t good for me, anyway.”
Then she took my hand and lovingly led me to the dinner table. As we ate, I explained to my family how sorry I was I hadn’t sold enough books to buy them Christmas presents. Then, hoping to end the discussion, I stood and started to clear the table.
Now my father began to speak. “You are already giving us the best Christmas gift possible,” he said. Then he continued.
“You were planning to stay in Hawaii and get a good job after you graduated. But we told you how much we missed you and asked you to consider coming home. What you are giving us is more important than any material gift. Your love for us is something money cannot buy.”
By this time, tears were in my eyes.
“Besides,” he said, “sometimes, the Lord delays a blessing so that we can appreciate more important blessings. It would be nice to get a new pair of shoes from you this Christmas, but what good would a new pair of shoes be if you were not around to make our holidays complete?”
Suddenly, I realized how many gifts I had been given. I had a loving family. I had been able to finish school and had good prospects of a better-paying job in the coming year. Most important, I had the capacity to love and care for those around me. This, then, would be my gift to my loved ones. And perhaps it was the best gift of all.
“By the way,” father added, smiling, “Mrs. Cruz called and said she has decided to pay cash for that set of encyclopedias for her children.”
“Hurrah!” Mila exclaimed. “Now you can get me a box of chocolates for Christmas!”
I was crying more than laughing. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. I was at home with my family, and I had a new perspective.
Testify of the importance of remembering the true meaning of Christmas and the blessings of love.
Rudolph and Friends or Pretty Peppermint Sticks
Rudolph and Friends
Pretzels (standard shaped)
Chocolate frosted cupcakes
Tootsie Roll Midgee
Mini vanilla wafer
Red or brown M&Ms
Black decorating gel
1- For each “reindeer,” carefully snap two pretzels into antler shapes and press them into a chocolate frosted cupcake.
2- Finish by adding a pair of white M&M eyes dotted with black decorating gel.
3- Press on a mini vanilla wafer for a snout, then use a small dab of frosting to attach a red or brown M&M nose.
4- Shape each ear from a third of a Tootsie Roll Midgee and arrange them next to the antlers.
Pretty Peppermint Sticks
1 cup dark or milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
15 (4-inch) soft or hard peppermint sticks
1- In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and oil for 1 minute, then continue in 10-second bursts, stirring between heatings. When most, but not all, of the chips have melted, stir the chocolate until it is smooth.
2- Spread the nonpareils on a sheet of waxed paper. Dip one end of each peppermint stick into the chocolate, then roll it in the nonpareils. Set the sticks on another sheet of waxed paper until the chocolate has set, about 1 hour.
(Recipes taken from Familyfun.go.com)
1- Write Christmas Cards for Family Members.
2- Go Christmas Caroling.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.