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Christmas is full of a lot of hustle & bustle. Everyone is asking for & expecting gifts. However, Christ has gave the greatest gift there is to give. Get into the true spirit of giving with this great family home evening lesson on the Spirit of Giving! Scripture: Russell M Nelson Quote Hymn: Picture a Christmas or Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Lesson: The Spirit of Giving Treat: Grasshopper Chocolate Bark or Candy Cane Crinkles Activity: Secret act of Service, Christmas Caroling, Make a Nativity •View entire lesson...

The Spirit of Giving

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Russell M Nelson Quote

” This Christmas season, through all of our various Christmas traditions, I hope that we are focused first upon the Lord Jesus Christ.”

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

 Picture a Christmas- Primary Songbook #50-51 or Hark! The Herald Angles Sing– Hymn #209

Picture a Christmas

1. Picture a stable in Judea.
Picture a sacred, silent night.
And can you hear
The angels near
And see the star so bright?

Picture the little baby Jesus.
Think of his life and words so dear.
Sing praise to him;
Remember him,
As you picture Christmas this year.

2. Picture the kind and gentle Joseph.
Picture the mother, Mary, fair.
And can you see
So rev’rently
The shepherds kneeling there?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

1. Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

[Chorus] Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!

2. Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris’n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For All Family Members* Read or summarize the following article “A Christmas Eve Transformation” (taken from December 2012 Ensign).  Watch the video: What Shall We Give? below. Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

On Christmas Eve, I waited at the bus station in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, to pick up my parents after their five-hour bus ride from Vernal, Utah, to spend Christmas with my sister’s family and me. The bus arrived very late—two hours in fact.

While I waited, I thought about how difficult this holiday season had been for me. I had tried to focus on my preparations for Christmas, but this year my children were traveling with their own families and my husband had passed away, and I soon discovered that no amount of shopping and wrapping or beautiful Christmas music could lighten my heavy heart. However, I pushed these thoughts from my mind when I saw my parents get off the bus.

Soon my mother and I were chatting, waiting in line to pick up their baggage. She casually mentioned that a grandmother on the bus had traveled all the way from Chicago, Illinois, USA, to connect with another bus that would take her to her final destination in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. This traveler was sad and upset, however, because she had missed her connection. Even if she boarded the next bus to Pocatello, she would still miss Christmas with her daughter and new granddaughter.

I pictured in my mind a disappointed grandma alone in a hotel room in a strange city on Christmas Eve. I felt a terrible sadness for her and wanted to do something to help her.

I soon found her talking on a pay phone to her daughter. I walked up to her, gently tapped her on the arm, and asked if I could speak with her. She looked startled but put her hand over the receiver and said, “Yes?”

“Are you the lady who missed the connection to Pocatello?” I asked.

She responded, “Yes.”

The next words out of my mouth surprised both my mother and the stranger. “Will you ask your daughter if she is familiar with Tremonton, Utah?”

With hesitation in her voice, she asked her daughter the question. “Yes, she knows where that is,” came the reply.

“Ask her if she could drive there tonight. That is about halfway from Salt Lake City to Pocatello.”

She again relayed my question to her daughter, and again the answer was affirmative.

“You two decide on a time to meet,” I said, “and I will have you there—but give her this phone number in the event that something goes wrong and we need to communicate.”

I couldn’t hear any more of the conversation, but after she hung up, she looked at me in utter amazement. My mother, too, was in shock as she said to my stepfather, “Harold, make room in the back of Myrle’s car for this lady’s luggage. She is going home with us.”

I introduced myself and my parents to the stranger and learned that her name was Vanessa Black. My stepfather loaded Vanessa’s bags into my little car, Vanessa climbed into the only spot left, and then we all headed to my sister’s house for dinner before leaving for our destination. My heart was joyful as I kept reassuring her that she was no inconvenience (just 80 or so miles [130 km] out of the way).

Our arrival at Tremonton was greeted by an empty town. The service stations and restaurants were closed, and everything was dark as we looked for the place where we were to meet Vanessa’s daughter. Meanwhile, the daughter, who had understood that we would be arriving a half hour earlier, was anxiously trying to contact us by phone. We pulled up to a phone booth, and as my car lights shined into the booth, there stood Vanessa’s daughter. When she saw the lights of my car, she came running, and Vanessa jumped out of the car to embrace her sobbing daughter.

After a short introduction, I said, “Well, we both have a drive ahead of us, so we will leave you now. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.”

Her daughter threw her arms around me and in a teary voice responded, “We will, thanks to you! Merry Christmas to you too.”

When I look back on that Christmas, my heart warms at the memory of the most joyous, peaceful Christmas I ever had. My gift to Vanessa Black was a perfect way for me to remember the birth of the Savior, who said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). That Christmas, I received the best possible gift to brighten my Christmas—the gift of giving.

Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

 

*For Younger Children* Read or tell the following story: “My Gift to Jesus”   (taken from the December 2012 Friend)Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

“Time for family home evening!” Dad called.

I hurried to the living room. We always did fun things on the first family home evening of December.

My younger sister, Michelle, ran ahead of me and jumped into the soft blue armchair.

“No fair!” I exclaimed. “You got to sit there last week. It’s my turn.”

“I got here first, so I get to sit here,” she argued. “You can sit on the couch.”

“I don’t want to sit on the couch,” I snapped.

I stormed over to the rocking chair and turned it so I wouldn’t have to look at Michelle. She made me so mad sometimes! She thought she could have whatever she wanted. Whenever I complained, Mom told me I needed to be unselfish.

After our family sang a hymn and prayed, Dad said, “Christmas is an exciting time, and we need to remember the true meaning of the holiday. Tonight we are going to start with our gifts to Jesus.”

Our gifts to Jesus. I had forgotten about that! We did it every year.

“We celebrate Christmas because Jesus was born,” Dad continued. “He made it possible for us to receive the greatest gift—eternal life with Heavenly Father.”

“And what has He asked us to do in return?” Mom asked.

“To follow Him and keep His commandments,” my brother answered.

Mom gave us each a card and pen. We were supposed to write how we would show Jesus we love Him. That was our gift—to choose something we would do to be more like Jesus.

I knew immediately what my gift should be. Jesus taught us to love others, even if they made us angry. I knew Jesus wanted me to love my sister. I wrote, “I will be nice to Michelle.”

We put our cards in a box wrapped in gold paper. We put the box under the Christmas tree. Every time we looked at the box, we were supposed to remember the Savior’s gift to us and our gift to Him.

A few days later, I saw that Michelle had taken my favorite shirt without asking. I wanted to yell at her. Then I looked at the gold box and remembered how much I loved Jesus. I could show Him love by being kind to my sister. I said, “You look really pretty today, Michelle.”

She smiled. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask to wear your shirt. You weren’t here when I got dressed, and I wanted to look extra nice for my class Christmas party today.”

I felt warm inside. I was glad I had chosen to be nice to Michelle instead of getting angry at her.

For the rest of the month, I tried to remember that good feeling and my goal to be like Jesus. I got better at being patient and loving.

On Christmas Eve, Dad read the nativity story, and the rest of us acted it out. I decided to be the angel instead of arguing with Michelle over who got to play the part of Mary.

Next we opened the gold box and read our gifts to Jesus out loud. When I read mine, Mom said, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been extra nice to Michelle. I’m so proud of you!”

I was proud too. I hadn’t unwrapped any presents yet, but I had already received something special: a feeling from the Holy Ghost telling me I had done the right thing.

Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

 

*For Teenagers or Adults*  Read & share points from the following article “Gifts You Can’t Wrap” by President Monson (taken from December 2012 New Era).  Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

At Christmastime we often focus on giving gifts to those we love. But remember that some of the greatest presents are those you can’t wrap. Here are some unforgettable gifts you can give your parents.

Service

One of the greatest gifts you can give is service.

  • Clean the house.
  • Offer to babysit.
  • Set and clear the table.
  • Make dinner for your family.
  • Do the dishes or sweep the floor.
  • Help a sibling with his or her homework.
  • Depending on the climate where you live, shovel the walkway or weed the garden.

Family Time

Even though you have a busy schedule, make time for your family. Your presence will help support your parents, and they will thank you for your efforts.

  • Participate in family home evening (without having to be reminded about it).
  • Play with your siblings.
  • Be on time for family dinners.
  • Talk with and listen to family members.
  • Participate in family prayer and scripture reading.
  • Spend time with your family instead of just your friends, or invite your friends to family activities (with your parents’ permission).

Commitment

Let your parents know you are committing to something important. The best way to show your commitment is to start now and keep going.

  • Prepare to serve a mission (for young men). Start now by building up a mission fund if possible.
  • Study the scriptures daily.
  • Save some of your earnings.
  • Go to school without complaint and do your homework on time.
  • Attend seminary. If you go to seminary in the morning, wake up on your own.
  • Prepare for temple marriage. Make a list of important qualities to look for in a future spouse and then develop those qualities in yourself.

Attitude

Your parents will appreciate a good attitude toward them and your other family members.

  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Don’t point out flaws in your parents or siblings.
  • Make a habit of saying thank you, even for the small things.
  • Write a thank-you letter to your parents for all they’ve done for you.
  • Resolve conflicts with your parents or siblings without anger or argument.
  • Count your blessings—literally. Create a list of things you’ve been able to do because of your parents’ support, and share the list with them.

Testify of the true meaning of Christmas – giving, not receiving.

FHE Treat

Treat

Grasshopper Chocolate Bark or Candy Cane Crinkles

Grasshopper Chocolate Bark

Yields 24 Pieces

Ingredient

1 1/2 lbs (24 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chunks)
1 1/2 lbs (24 oz) white chocolate, chopped (or white baking chips)
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil or shortening, divided
1 tsp mint extract (optional)
Green food coloring
5 oz package of Andes mints, unwrapped and roughly chopped

Instructions:

1. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with wax paper.

2. Melt white chocolate or white baking chips in the microwave or a bowl set over simmering water (see tips above).

3. Add food coloring, mint extract, and then 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, stirring just until smooth and uniformly green.

4. Pour the green chocolate into the baking sheet and spread it evenly almost to the edge of wax paper.

5. Lift the pan a few inches above the countertop and let it fall back onto the counter. Repeat a few times to bring any air bubbles to the surface.

6. Let cool for ~10 minutes in the fridge.

7. Melt remaining chocolate in the microwave.

8. Stir in the vegetable oil.

9. Pour over the green mint layer and spread it evenly, almost to the edge of the green layer.

10. Drop the pan onto the countertop to get rid of any air bubbles.

11. Sprinkle the chopped mints over top and refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.

12. Cut or break into pieces.

13. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. I loosely wrapped several pieces in wax paper before gifting. (Taken from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Candy Cane Crinkles

Ingredients:

3 whole candy canes, crushed
½ cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Egg
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
⅛ teaspoons Baking Soda
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Powdered Sugar
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper or use silicone baking mat and set aside.2. Place candy canes into a plastic food storage bag and crush using a rolling pin. Set aside.3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir all dry ingredients together in a small bowl and then in pour into mixer and slowly mix until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Stir in crushed candy canes. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.4. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes. (Taken from Lauren’s Latest)

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Do a secret act of service for a neighbor or friend.

2- Go Christmas caroling.

3- Print, Cutout & make the Nativity.

Comments

comments

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About Aleah Ingram

Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a social media manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is addicted to organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    This is just what I was looking for. Thank you so much.

  2. Avatar

    My husband did a neighbors sidewalks today while she was away, because something told me to have him do it. I found out she had arm surgery which we were unaware of………this made me feel so proud that we could help someone from our church. This is a wonderful lesson to teach you that even the little things count.

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