Recommended Enrichment Reading: A Tale Of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt, is a beautiful story of the role three very special trees play in the sacred events in Jesus' life. This book adapts easily into a play for your families enjoyment.



Recommended Quilting Project: Star of Wonder, by Nancy Halvorsen. The Holy Family and gentle lambs in her sweet, touching style. Her book has directions for 27 fusible-appliqued, pieced and embroidered nativity projects, including quilts, a tree skirt, a table runner, pillows, and tea towels. Prepare to rejoice as you snuggle by the Christmas tree!

Celebration: A Whole New Light

By Marilyn Brown-Fullmer

I would like to share with you a holiday tradition we started eight years ago for our family. The 'real' meaning of Christmas seemed to have become lost somewhere in the clamor of Santa, gifts, conversation and food. So, as grandparents to this large family (12 married children and 44 grandchildren, we decided something needed to be done!

Now when we gather at our home on Christmas Eve., we have our very own LIVE Nativity scene! I choose a book that reflects the birth of Baby Jesus. One of the older children or an adult is the narrator and reads the book. As the children act it out in pantomime (no lines to learn), they wear a 'simple' costume that denotes their role - that is - crowns for the kings, robes for the shepherds, halos and or wings for the angels and so on. Weeks before Christmas, they call me and excitedly ask, "What am I going to be this year, Grandma?" So far we have been fortunate to have a little one to be Baby Jesus but a doll works well too.

On THEE night, the children all gather upstairs with a 'stage manager' to keep things quiet and respectful. As the story unfolds, each child comes downstairs on cue to find its place in the Live Manger Scene. When the story ends, we are all in awe as we look at our grandchildren in a whole new light - the Lord's light!

While the children are still in place, each family has been asked to bring a prayer to share. Next, we sing Christmas carols until Santa magically appears at our deck door. A dear neighbor does this for us and to this day, not even our teen-agers know who 'he' really is!

Some of the books I have used for our little plays are:

  • This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar and Gary Blythe
  • Jesus' Christmas Party by Nicholas Allen
  • The Christmas Story (based on gospels of Matthew & Luke)
  • The Tale of Jonathon Toomey
  • Santa's Favorite Story
  • A Christmas Story by Brian Waldsmith

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