‘Twas the Night of the First Christmas

04567_Christmas_nativity_scene_at_the_Franciscan_church_in_Sanok,_2010

Twas the night of the first Christmas when all through the town,
The streets were all crowded with people milling around.

All the hotels and motels, signs flashing in red,
No vacancy at all, not even one bed.

There must be a place to my wife I confide.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “God will provide.”

At the last house I arose such a clatter.
The owner came out to see what was the matter.

My wife, great with child, he saw in a flash.
“Please sir a room, I can pay you with cash.”

As the moon cast its light on the scene down below.
The gentleman showed us the way we should go.

When what to my eyes should appear?
A clean little stable, he said, “You can stay here.”

He got us fresh hay so lively and quick.
And he said, “This little ‘ol manger should do the trick.”

He finished and left never giving his name.
But I’m sure of this he will always have fame.

Now faster and faster the labor pains quicken.
The animals gather around and quietly listen.

I grab a small torch to light up the stall.
Then up to my wife I tenderly crawl.

I brushed back her hair as she gives out a sigh.
As joy fills our hearts we both start to cry.

Now off on a hillside an angel flew.
To lowly Shepherds to share the good news.

Then suddenly the glory of the Lord shown all around.
And the Shepherds in fear fell to the ground.

“Don’t be afraid, lift up your head.”
“Today the Savior is born in the town of David.”

Then suddenly the sky was full as far as the eye could see.
A great host of angels all began to sing.

“Glory to God in the heavens above.”
“And peace on earth to all whom God loves.”

Look back to the stable as a mothers face glows.
With a babe in her arms wrapped in swaddling clothes.

The baby’s eyes how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, His nose like a cherry!

His little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
And His heart was so pure, as white as the snow.

A humble beginning for the King of all kings.
So some of you may wonder, what all of this means.

From a baby to a man who died on a cross.
That all could be saved, that none would be lost.

The gift that was given on the first Christmas day.
A gift that’s so great we could never repay.

Telling the Christmas Story

ChristmasLove1Write out on separate pieces of cardboard the nine letters that make up the word ‘CHRISTMAS’. Take each letter in turn to illustrate the Christmas story. As you talk about each letter, get a volunteer to come and hold it up before the class. At the conclusion, the complete word will thus be shown.

There are a number of variations that could be used, but here are some ideas.

C = Christ. God’s gift to us.
H = Heaven. Jesus came down from Heaven to be born at Bethlehem.
R = Redeemer. You will probably have to explain this. To redeem something means to buy it back. God
created us, but then he had to buy us back with the blood of Jesus. The famous story about the boy who
made, lost and then had to buy back a toy boat is helpful in explaining this.*
I = Israel. Jesus was born in Israel. (An alternative could be Isaiah, who foretold of His coming).
S = Star. God sent a bright star to guide the wise men. (An alternative could be Stable).
T = The wise men. The Bible doesn’t say how many there were, but they brought Three gifts.
M = Manger, in which Jesus was placed. (An alternative could be Mary).
A = Angels, who announced Jesus’ birth.
S = Shepherds, the first to hear the ‘Good News’. (An alternative could be Savior).

* A boy once made a toy boat. He was very proud of his boat because he hadn’t bought it, he had made it himself. One day whilst sailing his boat on the lake, the wind suddenly strengthened and blew the toy boat out of sight towards the other side of the lake. The boy immediately ran around to the far side of the lake to look for his boat. He searched and searched, but couldn’t find it anywhere; the boat was lost. The boy was bitterly disappointed because this wasn’t any ordinary boat. This was his special boat that he had made with his own hands.

Sometime later the boy was walking past a shop. He happened to look in the window, and there, up for sale, was his boat. He knew it was his because he had made it himself and knew exactly what it looked like. Immediately, the boy rushed into the shop and paid the asking price for his boat. On leaving the shop, the boy looked admiringly at his boat and said “Now you are mine twice over. I made you, and now I have bought you back again. I have redeemed you.”

That is a picture of what God has done for us. He made us and therefore owns us, but because of our sin, we became lost and separated from Him. But in His love, God sent Jesus to buy us back, to redeem us. And the price Jesus paid? – His own blood that He shed on the cross. So although at Christmas we remember the coming of Jesus to earth, we must also think of Easter and remember the purpose of His coming, to redeem us to God.

Special Christmas Present for Jesus

11994116-kids-christmasStart by having the kid’s think of kind, loving deeds they have done throughout the year for others and have them to write them down on slips of paper. When you have given them enough time to do this, have them deposit them into an easy to open, pre-wrapped Christmas Gift for Jesus. This is a great visual that shows them that the kind things we do for others all year long, we do for Him. (Matthew 25:35-40). Close by thanking God for His indescribable gift to us and for chances to share His love with others. A great challenge for the kids is to see how full they can get next year’s Christmas gift for Jesus.

Santa Jokes

santaWhy does Santa have 3 gardens?
So he can ho-ho-ho.

Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?
Because he had low elf esteem.

What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?
Ribbon hood.

What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmastime?
Sandy Claus!

If Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus had a child, what would he be called?
A subordinate claus.

Why did Santa spell Christmas N-O-E?
Because the angel had said, “No L!”

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Claustrophobic.

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Snowflakes.

Did you hear that one of Santa’s reindeer now works for Proctor and Gamble?
Its true….Comet cleans sinks!

What do you call a bunch of grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!

When you stop believing in Santa Claus is when you start getting clothes for Christmas.

There once was a czar in Russia whose name was Rudolph the Great. He was standing in his house one day with his wife. He looked out the window and saw something happening. He says to his wife, “Look honey. It’s raining.” She, being the obstinate type, responded, “I don’t think so, dear. I think its snowing.” But Rudolph knew better. So he says to his wife, “Let’s step outside and we’ll find out.” Lo and behold, they step outside and discover it was, in fact, rain. And Rudolph turns to his wife and replies,” I knew it was raining. Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!”

Reasons Why Santa Was Once a Children’s Pastor

SantaHis office is hard to find.

He is fashion challenged.

He assumes any and all snacks he finds are his to eat.

He has no adult workers.

He is only seen on rare occasions.

No one seems to know who he reports to.

He laughs way too much.

He is nobody’s definition of a physical specimen.

He is always trying crazy stunts like climbing down a chimney.

No one seems to know what he does during the week.

He does an impossible job with no visible means of support .

Kids love him.

Mad Libs Christmas Story

0612st_01_z+christmas_mad_libs+fruit_cake_top_viewFor a fun way to teach the kids the Christmas Story try a Mad Lib.  Put the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke on poster board ahead of time and leave blank some of the names, places, and actions. Then, at the beginning of the lesson, ask different kids to give you the name of a girl, a town, a government leader, etc. Write their answers in the blanks on the poster board. Once you’ve filled in all the blanks, hang up the poster boards and read it aloud together. The kids will crack up over this. (Make sure the kids don’t know ahead of time what story you are asking these questions for). Then have everyone open their Bibles to Luke and go back over the story and fill in the correct version and explain it to the kids. It’s a great way to keep the interest of kids who know the story of Jesus’ birth and explain it to new kids at the same time.

Christmas Quiz

A_Kim_Possible_Nativity_Scene_by_drakkenfanAn elimination quiz about Christmas:

In order to check how well children are understanding their Bible lessons, use an elimination quiz to check test them out. I ask the class questions, and give two alternative answers. If a child gets the wrong answer, they are eliminated. I keep going until there are only a few successful children left. In order to ensure that the children do not copy each other, I get them to close their eyes as they are answering the question. I say “Put your hand up, if you think the answer is ‘A’, and keep it down if you think it is ‘B’.  The last kids standing wins mini candy canes.

Here is an Elimination quiz for Christmas. Remember, it is better to ask for the ‘best’ or ‘most correct’ answers.

1. In what town was Jesus born?
A. Bethlehem. B. Nazareth.

2. What country is Bethlehem in?
A. Egypt. B. Israel.

3. What was the name of Jesus’ mother?
A. Elizabeth. B. Mary.

4. Who was the father of Jesus?
A. Joseph. B. God.

5. What was the name of Mary’s husband?
A. John. B. Joseph.

6. In what type of building was Jesus born?
A. An inn. B. A stable.

7. What was Jesus placed in after he was born?
A. A bed. B. A manger.

8. What is a Manger? A.
A cattle’s eating or drinking trough. B. A place for storing straw.

9. Who first announced the birth of Jesus?
A. Angels. B. The King.

10. To whom did the Angels announce the birth of Jesus to?
A. The wise men. B. Some shepherds.

11. How many wise men were there?
A. Three. B. We don’t know.

12. How did the wise men find out where Jesus was?
A. They followed a star. B. The shepherds told them.

13. How many gifts did the wise men bring?
A. Three. B. Five.

14. About how long ago was Jesus born?
A. 2,000 years. B. 10,000 years.

15. Why was Jesus born?
A. To teach us about God. B. To die for our sins.

16. Is Jesus alive today?
A. Yes. B. No.

Christmas Guess-A-Word Game

cookie-canes-oh-1830666-lHere is what you say to introduce this game:

I’m thinking of a Christmas Thing – a word or phrase that has something to do with Christmas. It could be a Christmas character, food, object, songs or anything else that has to do with Christmas. If you can guess what I am thinking of, you win a candy cane (or other prize). But here’s the trick. You can only ask questions that I can answer with a YES or NO. The secret is to ask category questions that will lead you to the answer, rather than just random guessing. To encourage you to ask category questions – if you ask a category question, such as “Is it someone in the Christmas story?” and get a “yes” then you get to ask another question, in fact, you can ask as many questions as you want, as long as you get a ‘yes.’ Example, if it is “Mary”, you could ask:

Is it someone in the Bible? (yes)
Where they there when Jesus was a baby? (yes)
Was it a woman? (yes)
Was it Mary? (YES!)

SAMPLE WORDS / PHRASES

CHRISTMAS TREE

DONKEY

MISTLETOE

RUDOLPH

EGG NOG

SHEPHERDS

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

THREE WISE MEN

FROSTY

AWAY IN A MANGER

ANGELS

 

Christmas Party Fun with a Point

Crepe-Xmas-Tree-b-2Select 5 kids from the audience.  On a table set up 5 settings with each setting including the following:
1 party hat,
1 party face mask,
one cup of made up Jell-o
one spoon,
one plate with a slice of Fairy Bread on it (this is bread and butter with hundreds and thousands sprinkles on it),
one little wedding bubble blower,
and one balloon.

On “GO,” the kids compete  to see who can put on the hat, put on the mask, eat the Jell-0, eat the Fairy Bread, blow three lots of bubbles, and blow up the balloon REALLY quickly.

Thank the volunteers and award the winner of the competition.

Say: “We all love parties, don’t we? Who gets invited to parties? We usually go to parties of people that we care about, or that we really like or love to be around don’t we? Well, this party here tonight is celebrating Jesus’ birthday – and He really wants you to be part of it because He wants to be your special friend. He loves you, each one of you, and has invited you to celebrate with Him, not just at Christmas time, but for always. “