Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

Family Home Evening Lesson
“New Year and Renewal”

Opening Song: "The World is so Big " Children's Songbook #235

Opening Prayer: Child

Lesson: Mommy

A New Year:

A few days ago we celebrated the start of a new year - 2009. Tonight we will talk more about how special this is to us, that The Lord has given us another year to do more and become better people

Go here to Sofia's Primary Ideas to see an idea about how we can not run/ or jog forever we need to rest, eat, drink. The New Year is a great time to think about the coming year. Often we are on holidays and have some time to think and reflect. However the Lord has also provided a way for us to do this more often. We do not need to wait a whole year to renew ourselves. Each week when we take the sacrament we can start fresh and new in the sight of God.

Sit down and think of one goal for the family (or if it isnt too much, one goal for each child) to do in the coming year. {This year our family is going to kneel for family prayer both morning and night}

Talk about goals that will be reached this year for each family member

New class in Primary

If you haven’t already started the new year with a Fathers/Priesthood blessing for all the children/everyone in the family, do so tonight. This makes a wonderful family tradition to start each new year.

Suggested Activity:
Have a calendar ready and mark off special days in the year - ask for childrens input

In Belgium on New Years children save money to buy decorated paper for writing holiday greetings to parents and god parents. On New Year's morning the children read what they have written to their parents and god parents. Write some New Year Letters to Grandparents, family or just for yourselves. Write your loves and wishes and achievements and keep them somewhere special for the year.

Closing Song: "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" Children's Songbook #228

Closing Prayer: Daddy

Round/ring foods are typically eaten in many European countries at New Year. It symbolises a New Year finished, eternal round of time, A new beginning. The Dutch eat donuts on New year, Italians eat round honey balls, Mexico and Spain eat 12 round grapes

Prepare some "round" foods to eat and enjoy with the family.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Symbols of Christmas

Opening Song: We Wish you a Merry Christmas

Opening Prayer
: Child

: Daddy

The Symbols of Christmas (taken from this site: Luv's Creations)
Preparation- gather these items: Christmas tree, a star, a red ornament, a bell, a candle (or christmas lights), a candy cane, a wreath with a red bow, Santa Claus picture. You can pick and choose and only do the ones you want. Paraphrase the sections based on the ages of your children.

Christmas tree- Green is the second color of Christmas. The evergreen with its unchanging color represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that man's thoughts should turn heavenward as well.

A Star-The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise of the night that Jesus Christ was born. God always fulfills His promises and that the wise will still seek Him.

Red-the first color of Christmas. It is the color of the life giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Christ gave His life and shed his blood for them that they might have eternal life.

Bells-Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Follow the true Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep.

A candle- The glow of the candle represents how man can show his thanks for the gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Follow in Christ's footsteps... to go about doing good. Let your light shine before men that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God's precious children, their light shining for all to see.

A candy cane- White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. The shape 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus who came to earth as our Savior. It also represents the crook of the Good Shepherd which he uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus so that we can have eternal life.

A wreath tied with a bright red bow-The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even the wreath's very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle without beginning and without end.

Santa Claus- Represents the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving.

Make this Baby Jesus
or this angel ornament
or this Christmas tree

Closing Song
: Christmas Bells, Children's Songbook #54

Prayer: Mommy

Candy Cane Cookies
(Make dough ahead of time. If you kids like Play Doh, they'll love making these!)
1cup sugar
1cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2cup milk
1teaspoon vanilla
1teaspoon peppermint extract (I prefer almond extract)
3 1/2cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon red food color
2tablespoons finely crushed peppermint candies
2tablespoons sugar

Stir together 1 cup sugar, the butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint (or almond) extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half. Stir food color into 1 half. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. (I didn't need to refrigerate it)
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir together peppermint candy and 2 tablespoon sugar; set aside.
For each candy cane, shape 1 rounded teaspoon dough from each half into 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on floured surface. Place 1 red and white rope side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane.
Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until set and very light brown. Immediately sprinkle candy mixture over cookies. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Family Home Evening Lesson
“Keeping Christ in Christmas”

Opening Song: “Have a Very Merry Christmas” (Children’s Song Book # 51)

Opening Prayer: Child

Lesson: Mommy

Keeping Christ in Christmas:

Ask your children what Christmas is: (let them answer without prompting, ie. Presents, Santa, etc.)

Read: 3 Ne. 14:12 Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

Print out and read “A Sharing Christmas”

Talk about the true meaning of Christmas. Show picture 201 and 202 from the gospel art kit.

Talk about your family traditions that keep Christ in Christmas.

Talk about some things that you can do as a family that will bring the True Spirit of Christmas into your homes.

Read the words to “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Song Book # 34)

Sing: “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Song Book # 34)

Suggested Activity:
Give each member of the family a few strips of paper. Have each person choose 2-5 things that they can give of themselves before Christmas that can then be given as gifts to Jesus (ie. Make their bed so Mommy doesn’t have to, or pick up toys for their brother or sister, make Christmas cards for their friends, grandparents or neighbors, etc). Make a Christ Ornament for your Christmas tree by mounting a small picture of Christ on some nice paper and if possible put a little pocket on the back so that once you have finished doing the service gifts you can place the strip of paper in the pocket and give that gift to Christ. Keep extra strips of paper so if they finish the ones they have already made they can make more. After opening your presents on Christmas morning take your Christ ornament down and read aloud all the gifts that your family has given to Christ this season.

Closing Song: “Away in a Manger” (Children’s Song Book # 42)

Closing Prayer: Daddy

Treat: Rolo Pretzel Turtles
These are an easy and very kid friendly treat to make that you can use as one of your gifts to Christ. Make a few batches of these and find someone in your ward or neighborhood that your family can make these sweet treats for. They really are good and easy!!!! I made them with my 2 ½ year old last Christmas for her teacher and they were great!!!