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Eli the Donkey on his greatest journey

A Christmas adventure for the whole family

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A CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY


MEDITERRANEAN<br />

SEA<br />

NAZARETH<br />

SEA OF<br />

GALILEE<br />

SYRIA<br />

JORDAN RIVER<br />

JERUSALEM<br />

BETHLEHEM<br />

DEAD<br />

SEA<br />

JORDAN<br />

EGYPT<br />

ISRAEL<br />

2


NOTES FOR ADULTS<br />

Hello amazing adults! Just a few notes for you:<br />

- D<strong>on</strong>’t feel pressure to have to do all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> activities. There are<br />

so many in t<strong>his</strong> booklet so that every<strong>on</strong>e will be able to find<br />

something for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m.<br />

- We are catering for a wide age and ability range in <strong>on</strong>e booklet,<br />

so depending <strong>on</strong> your child, you may want to alter, skip, or add<br />

things as you go al<strong>on</strong>g.<br />

- You are allowed to have fun too! D<strong>on</strong>’t hold yourself back from<br />

baking, crafting, playing, and making memories your children will<br />

cherish for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rest of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir lives.<br />

3


Each sessi<strong>on</strong> starts with a part<br />

of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Christmas story seen<br />

through <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> eyes of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Eli</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>D<strong>on</strong>key</str<strong>on</strong>g>.<br />

For each week, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re is a<br />

small family devoti<strong>on</strong>al<br />

and Bible reading. Do<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r!<br />

Use <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>se questi<strong>on</strong>s to engage<br />

your kids and to help <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m go<br />

deeper into <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Bible story and<br />

what it means for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m today.<br />

Each sessi<strong>on</strong>, as a family, decorate an ornament with a<br />

picture or words to remind you about what you’ve learned!<br />

If you do not have <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> provided blank ornaments, make<br />

your own by cutting a shape out of cardstock and punch a<br />

hole in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> top! Hang <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m up <strong>on</strong> your tree or somewhere<br />

else you can see <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m as a reminder!<br />

Some stories are accompanied by small,<br />

no-prep activities like coloring, drawing,<br />

writing, or solving a maze. Kids will enjoy<br />

doing <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir own.<br />

These are bigger, more involved<br />

activities that will require involvement<br />

from a grown-up.<br />

4


Although most people <strong>on</strong>ly seem to notice d<strong>on</strong>keys when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y’re pinning <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

tail <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m at birthday parties, t<strong>his</strong> animal is full of fun and interesting facts.<br />

A d<strong>on</strong>key can live<br />

to be more than<br />

50 years old!<br />

There are more than 40 milli<strong>on</strong><br />

d<strong>on</strong>keys worldwide. China,<br />

Ethiopia, Pakistan, Egypt, and<br />

Mexico have <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> most d<strong>on</strong>keys<br />

of any area in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>D<strong>on</strong>key</str<strong>on</strong>g>s are loyal<br />

and loving creatures.<br />

Some people call<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> dogs of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

livestock world!<br />

Sometimes d<strong>on</strong>keys are<br />

used as "guardians" for<br />

livestock — <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y can<br />

defend against a dog,<br />

coyote, fox, bobcat, or<br />

even mountain li<strong>on</strong><br />

that's bo<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ring a herd<br />

of sheep or goats.<br />

They are picky about<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> water <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y drink,<br />

sometimes even<br />

refusing water for<br />

being too dirty.<br />

Some d<strong>on</strong>keys are even used<br />

for rescue missi<strong>on</strong>s when a<br />

hiker or climber goes<br />

missing in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> mountains.<br />

A d<strong>on</strong>key’s sense of<br />

hearing is so well<br />

developed <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y can<br />

hear <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> call of<br />

ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r d<strong>on</strong>key<br />

from 60 miles away!<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>D<strong>on</strong>key</str<strong>on</strong>g>s like to munch <strong>on</strong> grasses, grains,<br />

oats and barley straw. Domesticated<br />

d<strong>on</strong>keys are usually fed hay, but <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

enjoy special treats like apples, pears,<br />

beets, bananas, bread, and molasses.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>D<strong>on</strong>key</str<strong>on</strong>g>s can form very<br />

close friendships with <strong>on</strong>e<br />

ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r that last a lifetime.<br />

In developing countries,<br />

d<strong>on</strong>keys take <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> place<br />

of cars and trucks.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>D<strong>on</strong>key</str<strong>on</strong>g>s are very<br />

intelligent. They have<br />

excellent memories<br />

and can remember<br />

places very well.<br />

5


6


Last night was very strange. I had just finished eating my hay, and was<br />

very much looking forward to laying down after a l<strong>on</strong>g day (it had been a<br />

l<strong>on</strong>g day of carrying Joseph's tools, back and forth, back and forth — that<br />

man needs a break), when I heard Mary let out a scream. I jolted and<br />

galloped to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> window. The room was incredibly bright, light pouring out<br />

of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> windows — I guess <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> couple had decided to invest in those<br />

brand-new maximum energy candles we saw in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> market <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r day.<br />

I inched closer and saw a pers<strong>on</strong>, but <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y didn't look like any pers<strong>on</strong> I've<br />

ever seen before — <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y were dressed all in white, shining brightly, and<br />

I'm not sure if my eyes were deceiving me but I think <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y might have<br />

even been hovering above <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ground — very strange indeed.<br />

Mary looked scared, terrified even, and Joseph was nowhere to be seen<br />

— what <strong>on</strong> earth is going <strong>on</strong> in t<strong>his</strong> house?! The very bright pers<strong>on</strong> (I later<br />

learned <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y are called angels) said to Mary, "Do not be afraid, God has<br />

sent me to tell you that you're going to have a baby, and He is going<br />

to save <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world." Well that was not what I was expecting at all. A baby<br />

is going to save <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world? And why was Mary being chosen to have such<br />

a special baby? Surely it should be <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby of a King and Queen, not <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

baby of poor and unknown Mary and Joseph? There were so many<br />

questi<strong>on</strong>s running through my head that I didn't notice <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angel leaving<br />

to go back to wherever angels come from.<br />

The next day as we went to market for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> week's shopping, every<strong>on</strong>e<br />

was looking and w<strong>his</strong>pering. I trotted a little bit faster than normal; Mary<br />

is having a baby by a complete miracle! But she's not married to Joseph<br />

yet (<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wedding planner was very booked up t<strong>his</strong> seas<strong>on</strong>) and in t<strong>his</strong><br />

olden day culture, people think that having a baby before you are married<br />

isn't such a good idea. T<strong>his</strong> could be an interesting few m<strong>on</strong>ths...<br />

7


Each of us is God's masterpiece. That means that he spent time,<br />

love and energy making us exactly how he wanted us to be.<br />

When God creates a masterpiece, he thinks about much more than just how we look. He made<br />

us as we are for a reas<strong>on</strong>, so that we can do all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> amazing things that God has planned for us.<br />

Sometimes life can be like a puzzle. Before a puzzle is put toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pieces are scattered so<br />

that we d<strong>on</strong>'t know what <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> picture is. We are unsure of what <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> completed picture will look<br />

like. We d<strong>on</strong>'t know what our lives will look like in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> future, or even tomorrow! But we can<br />

trust that God knows because he made us! We can trust <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> plan that God has for our life, even<br />

when it doesn't make sense to us.<br />

1. What does it mean to be a masterpiece?<br />

2. Do you always feel like you are a masterpiece?<br />

3. How do you think Mary felt when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angel<br />

Gabriel appeared to her?<br />

4. Have you ever been afraid to do something?<br />

Even if it might turn out well?<br />

5. Can you find any examples in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Bible of God<br />

using unlikely people to do great things?<br />

6. What do you think God might be calling you to do?<br />

7. Look up Luke 1:37. How does t<strong>his</strong> make you feel<br />

about following God?<br />

Draw or write<br />

something <strong>on</strong> your<br />

ornament to remind<br />

you that you are<br />

God’s masterpiece<br />

and that we can trust<br />

in His amazing<br />

plans for us!<br />

8


You’ll need: paper plate, silver pipe cleaner,<br />

sequins & decorati<strong>on</strong>s, scissors, glue<br />

1. Cut your paper plate in half.<br />

2. Fold <strong>on</strong>e half into a c<strong>on</strong>e and ask a<br />

grown up to staple it in place. T<strong>his</strong> is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

angel’s body/dress.<br />

3. Use <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sequins and anything else<br />

you have at home to decorate it.<br />

4. Cut <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r half of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> paper plate into<br />

three pieces - use two of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m as <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wings.<br />

Decorate!<br />

5. Ask an adult to staple <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wings<br />

to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> body.<br />

6. Use <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sparkly pipe cleaner to make a<br />

circle for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angel’s head. Put <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pipe<br />

cleaner through <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> hole at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> top of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

c<strong>on</strong>e and staple or tape it in place!<br />

Turn <strong>on</strong> some Christmas music and have fun<br />

doing a jigsaw puzzle toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r. (Did you<br />

know that many libraries lend puzzles?) Use<br />

t<strong>his</strong> opportunity to talk about how <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

individual puzzle pieces come toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r to<br />

make a whole puzzle, just as <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> individual<br />

happenings and events c<strong>on</strong>tribute to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

unfolding of God’s plan for our lives.<br />

With your parents, look through your<br />

baby pictures. Talk about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> good<br />

plans that God has had for you since<br />

you were a little baby. Read Psalm<br />

139:13-18 and take a few moments to<br />

thank God for all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> beautiful dreams<br />

and plans He has for your life.<br />

9


ANGELS<br />

Did you know that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angels are spirit-messengers sent by God to serve<br />

those who are going to be saved? Read it for yourself in Hebrews 1:14.<br />

Bring food to <str<strong>on</strong>g>Eli</str<strong>on</strong>g>jah<br />

(see 1 Kings 19:5-8)<br />

Warn Joseph to<br />

escape to Egypt<br />

(see Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:13)<br />

Protect Daniel<br />

from <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> li<strong>on</strong>s<br />

(see Daniel 6:22)<br />

Roll back <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

tomb st<strong>on</strong>e<br />

(see Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 28:2)<br />

Make it possible for<br />

Peter to escape<br />

from pris<strong>on</strong><br />

(see Acts 12:17)<br />

Ask your parents and<br />

grandparents if <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y think<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was a time in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir life<br />

when God’s heavenly agents<br />

were sent to serve <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m.<br />

10


What was <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> name of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angel who appeared<br />

to Mary? (HINT: See<br />

Luke 1:26-27)<br />

A. Gabriel<br />

B. Michael<br />

C. Nathaniel<br />

D. Raphael<br />

If your book<br />

came with <str<strong>on</strong>g>Eli</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

(plush toy),<br />

take turns<br />

hiding <str<strong>on</strong>g>Eli</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

around <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

house and<br />

looking<br />

for him.<br />

Turn <strong>on</strong> your favorite Christmas music, fire<br />

up your oven and have fun baking and<br />

decorating angel cookies. Scan <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> QR code<br />

for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> recipe your kids will absolutely love<br />

or find a different <strong>on</strong>e <strong>on</strong>line. You may also<br />

want to look for n<strong>on</strong>-baking ideas: Veggie<br />

Snack Angels or Sugar C<strong>on</strong>e and<br />

Marshmallows Angels.<br />

Have every<strong>on</strong>e ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> living room.<br />

Appoint <strong>on</strong>e pers<strong>on</strong> to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pointer (or <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Angel). Let <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m have <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> flashlight.<br />

Turn off <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> lights and have every<strong>on</strong>e quietly<br />

find a spot in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> room.<br />

The Angel <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n would turn <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> flashlight<br />

and without moving will start looking for<br />

people. Once <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y find some<strong>on</strong>e, have<br />

every<strong>on</strong>e take turns sharing something good<br />

about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong> who is in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> spotlight.<br />

Keep going until every<strong>on</strong>e has had a chance<br />

to be an Angel and to enjoy <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> spotlight.<br />

• Ask a parent to tell you<br />

about something that seemed<br />

impossible, but turned out to<br />

be possible with God’s help.<br />

• Talk to Mom or Dad, or a<br />

grandparent about what he<br />

or she has learned about<br />

God’s plans.<br />

• Ask a parent about a time<br />

he or she trusted God’s plan<br />

even though it didn’t seem to<br />

make sense. What happened?<br />

11


12<br />

There is hustle and bustle everywhere; every<strong>on</strong>e is<br />

getting packed up — <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re is a growing pile in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

corner of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable of all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> things we are taking<br />

<strong>on</strong> t<strong>his</strong> <strong>journey</strong>. It looks heavy and I’m <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e who<br />

is going to have to carry it. I guess I should explain...<br />

The Big Boss of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Roman Empire, Caesar<br />

Augustus, has sent out an announcement across<br />

all of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> land that every<strong>on</strong>e has to go back to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

place <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y were born and be registered so<br />

that he can know how many people he is<br />

ruling and where <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y all come from.


It’s all right for him to say from <strong>his</strong> big palace in Rome,<br />

but t<strong>his</strong> means that thousands of people have to pack<br />

up <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir things and make a l<strong>on</strong>g trek across deserts,<br />

countries, over hills, and through many towns.<br />

And today is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> leaving day.<br />

13


So we set off. Mary is now very pregnant and she sits <strong>on</strong> me<br />

al<strong>on</strong>g with all of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> bel<strong>on</strong>gings — it’s going to be a l<strong>on</strong>g and<br />

painful <strong>journey</strong>. We’re hoping Mary manages to make it <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re<br />

before having <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby (Joseph as far as I know has no<br />

midwifery skills and I have hoofs not hands...). We go through<br />

deserts, forests, over hills, and through many valleys.<br />

After quite a few days, my feet are very sore, it’s been a bumpy<br />

ride for Mary, and Joseph is starting to get tired.<br />

14


But <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re it is, just over <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next<br />

hill we can see Bethlehem, our final<br />

destinati<strong>on</strong>. The town doesn’t look<br />

like much, but it is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> home of<br />

Mary and Joseph. We are all very<br />

relieved to finally be <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re.<br />

Now, to find somewhere to stay.<br />

15


The emperor decided he wanted to count every<strong>on</strong>e that<br />

was in <strong>his</strong> kingdom.<br />

Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem (where Joseph was from) so that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y could register<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir names. Mary was very pregnant, so it was very bad timing! They had to leave <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir home<br />

and travel a l<strong>on</strong>g way <strong>on</strong> a d<strong>on</strong>key even though Mary was about to have a baby. When <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

arrived, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y couldn't even find anywhere to stay or any<strong>on</strong>e to welcome <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m. Even now, lots<br />

of people have to leave <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir homes when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y d<strong>on</strong>'t want to. It can be very scary and often<br />

people aren't very kind to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m. You can read and think more about t<strong>his</strong> <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next page.<br />

How do you think Jesus would welcome <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m?<br />

Draw or write something<br />

<strong>on</strong> your ornament to remind<br />

you of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<strong>on</strong>g and difficult<br />

<strong>journey</strong> that Mary and<br />

Joseph took and to remind<br />

you to pray and think of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

many people who also have<br />

to take l<strong>on</strong>g and difficult<br />

<strong>journey</strong>s in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

world today.<br />

1. What’s a census? Why were <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y d<strong>on</strong>e?<br />

2. How would you feel if you had to leave your home<br />

unexpectedly?<br />

3. How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

couldn’t find anywhere to stay?<br />

4. If you could <strong>on</strong>ly bring <strong>on</strong>e thing from home with you<br />

<strong>on</strong> a l<strong>on</strong>g <strong>journey</strong>, what would you bring?<br />

5. How would you want some<strong>on</strong>e to treat you if you<br />

were a l<strong>on</strong>g way from home in a strange place?<br />

16


What do you know about refugees?<br />

A refugee is some<strong>on</strong>e who needs to leave <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir own country<br />

and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir home because it’s not safe for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to stay. If <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

stay <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y could get hurt, not have enough food to eat, or not<br />

be able to go to school or work. So <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y travel to ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r<br />

country that is safe like <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> US or Canada.<br />

Why do refugees leave <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir home?<br />

What do you think it feels like to have to leave <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir home?<br />

To find a safe place, people often have to travel really<br />

far. They might have to walk through whole countries<br />

or travel across <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sea in small boats. The <strong>journey</strong><br />

can be very difficult, tiring, and painful.<br />

What’s <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<strong>on</strong>gest <strong>journey</strong> you’ve ever made?<br />

Can you imagine trying to get to ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r<br />

country without a car or airplane?<br />

Different things can happen <strong>on</strong>ce <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y have arrived in a safe place. In some safe places like Greece,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re are many refugees coming and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y d<strong>on</strong>’t have much room for every<strong>on</strong>e. So people have to<br />

live in camps. They sleep in tents even in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> cold winter. There is usually not much food and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

can’t easily go to school or work.<br />

Can you imagine living in a tent for a whole year?<br />

What kind of things might be difficult living in a camp?<br />

After a while, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y might be able to move into a normal house. But<br />

it is still not easy. They might not understand <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> language or have<br />

much m<strong>on</strong>ey. They might not feel like <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y bel<strong>on</strong>g in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir new<br />

homes. They have to start new jobs and new schools and that can<br />

be really difficult.<br />

Have you ever been new somewhere?<br />

How did it make you feel?<br />

How can we welcome people and make<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m feel at home?<br />

17


Have you ever met somebody from a different country? Did <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y speak<br />

a different language? We want to be able to welcome everybody!<br />

How many languages can you learn to say hello in?<br />

What about languages that use a different alphabet?<br />

What about sign language?<br />

Make a poster of all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> different ways you’ve learned to<br />

say hello and put it in your window to greet everybody<br />

that walks by. How colorful can you make it?<br />

18<br />

1. Use a teabag dipped in water to<br />

make your paper look really old (do<br />

t<strong>his</strong> before you start drawing!) and let<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> paper dry.<br />

2. Draw a map of a <strong>journey</strong> around<br />

your house. Think about what<br />

obstacles you might come across <strong>on</strong><br />

your <strong>journey</strong>. Are <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re snowy<br />

mountain stairs to climb or a crocodile<br />

filled carpet lake to cross? What will<br />

you find at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> end of your <strong>journey</strong>?<br />

3. Make drawings and labels <strong>on</strong> your<br />

map so you remember where to go.<br />

4. Can you challenge some<strong>on</strong>e else in<br />

your house to follow <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> map?<br />

Can you find Bethlehem and Nazareth <strong>on</strong><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> map? See <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> inside cover. We d<strong>on</strong>'t<br />

know what route Joseph and Mary took<br />

from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but we do<br />

know that Mary was pregnant and that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<strong>journey</strong> would have been between 80 to 100<br />

miles. Ask your mom... riding 80 miles <strong>on</strong> a<br />

d<strong>on</strong>key while pregnant would not be fun!<br />

Parents, pull out a map to help your<br />

children understand <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> distance of 80-100<br />

miles. Identify a couple of familiar places<br />

that are about t<strong>his</strong> distance from your<br />

home. Talk about what it's like to take t<strong>his</strong><br />

<strong>journey</strong> in a modern vehicle versus what it<br />

must have been like for Mary to ride <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

d<strong>on</strong>key and for Joseph to walk <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> whole<br />

distance beside her.<br />

Then take your family <strong>on</strong> a <strong>on</strong>e mile walk<br />

and talk about Mary and Joseph's <strong>journey</strong><br />

that would have been at least 80 times as<br />

l<strong>on</strong>g! Let <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m ask questi<strong>on</strong>s and process<br />

what <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>journey</strong> must have been like.


Which emperor ordered <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

census? (HINT: See Luke 2:1)<br />

A. Tiberius<br />

B. Galerius<br />

C. Augustus<br />

D. Claudius<br />

Talk about a time…<br />

1) Some<strong>on</strong>e showed you<br />

unexpected kindness<br />

2) You were kind to some<strong>on</strong>e else…and<br />

3) A time you could have been kind but<br />

weren’t<br />

Pray as a family that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Holy Spirit will<br />

show you some<strong>on</strong>e you can surprise by<br />

kindness in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next few days. Start<br />

making specific plans.<br />

Ask each family member to share.<br />

Ask a parent to scan t<strong>his</strong> code with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir<br />

smartph<strong>on</strong>e or tablet so you can travel<br />

with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Holy Family to Bethlehem.<br />

Look up <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> following Bible verses<br />

about God’s kindness to us: Ephesians<br />

4:32; Romans 2:4; and Psalm 116:5.<br />

Think about <strong>on</strong>e way you can imitate<br />

God’s kindness to some<strong>on</strong>e in your<br />

family t<strong>his</strong> week. Then do it!<br />

Holy<br />

Bible<br />

19


20


When we finally reached Bethlehem, things didn't go very<br />

well. As it turns out, Joseph in all <strong>his</strong> hurry forgot to book us<br />

a hotel room. Every place we went was full to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> brim with<br />

people who had returned home for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> registrati<strong>on</strong>. Mary<br />

was not pleased. They knocked and knocked, but every<strong>on</strong>e<br />

said <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> same thing. “We have no room in our inn.”<br />

It was starting to get cold and dark when we got to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> final<br />

house <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> edge of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> town. Joseph knocked <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> door.<br />

A short man peeked around <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> door. “Hello?” he said.<br />

Joseph asked if <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> man had any room in <strong>his</strong> house for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m<br />

to stay.<br />

The man looked at Joseph’s tired face, pregnant Mary, and<br />

me with my aching back. “My rooms are full, but if you are<br />

really desperate, I can make space in my stable with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

animals. It’s a bit smelly, but <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re’s lots of warm hay?”<br />

Mary raised her eyebrows, but Joseph was<br />

already following <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> man around <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> back gate.<br />

21


Mary and Joseph were struggling to find somewhere to<br />

stay in Bethlehem.<br />

They might have felt unwelcome and that nobody wanted <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir home. But even<br />

though <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was nowhere for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to go, God provided somewhere for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to stay. God<br />

has a place for every<strong>on</strong>e in His house! There’s always room for <strong>on</strong>e more! Every<strong>on</strong>e can be a<br />

part of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> family of God!<br />

Write or draw<br />

something that reminds<br />

you that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re is always<br />

room in God’s house and<br />

that every<strong>on</strong>e is<br />

welcome!<br />

1. How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

couldn’t find anywhere to stay?<br />

2. What’s a stable? What’s a manger? Are <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y normal<br />

places for a baby?<br />

3. Check out John 14:2. What does t<strong>his</strong> tell us about<br />

where we bel<strong>on</strong>g?<br />

4. In 2 Corinthians 5:1, it says that we will have “a<br />

home in heaven that will last forever.” How does<br />

t<strong>his</strong> make you feel?<br />

5. How do you think you could help o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r people feel<br />

at home in church?<br />

22


1. Find a shoebox or o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r box<br />

and take <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> lid/<strong>on</strong>e side off.<br />

2. Lay <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> box <strong>on</strong> its side. You can put a piece of<br />

cardboard in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> middle of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> box to make two<br />

levels in your house if you like!<br />

3. Use items you can find around your house to make some furniture. Can you make a<br />

small box into a bed or a bottle top into a stool? Use your imaginati<strong>on</strong> and go wild!<br />

4. Now to decorate! Do you have<br />

some fabric to make a carpet? Or use<br />

paint or paper to decorate <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> walls!<br />

5. When you have finished, pray<br />

over your house. Pray that<br />

those who need safe houses will<br />

be able to get <strong>on</strong>e and thank<br />

God that you have a safe home.<br />

How many people can you fit in <strong>on</strong>e space?<br />

Using a newspaper or towel <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> floor,<br />

try and fit as many people (or stuffed<br />

animals or o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r objects) <strong>on</strong> it, making<br />

sure that at least <strong>on</strong>e body part is always<br />

<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> square.<br />

Keep folding it in half until you can’t fit<br />

any<strong>on</strong>e in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> square!<br />

What makes<br />

home feel<br />

like home?<br />

On <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next page<br />

23


Answer each of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> questi<strong>on</strong>s<br />

in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> house about things that<br />

might make you feel at home.<br />

You could write <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m down<br />

next to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> questi<strong>on</strong>s, or draw<br />

pictures in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> windows.<br />

Why does your house<br />

feel like home?<br />

What is your favorite<br />

thing in your room?<br />

Draw it in t<strong>his</strong> window!<br />

Who lives in your house? Draw<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m looking out t<strong>his</strong> window.<br />

What do you<br />

most look<br />

forward to<br />

about coming<br />

home from<br />

school?<br />

Do you think Mary and Joseph had any<br />

of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>se things to make <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m feel at<br />

home in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable?<br />

24


What town did Mary and Joseph travel to?<br />

(HINT: See Luke 2:4)<br />

A. Be<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>sda<br />

B. Bethany<br />

C. Bethuel<br />

D. Bethlehem<br />

Ask each family member to share:<br />

1) Is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re room for Jesus in your<br />

thoughts, dreams, calendar, schedule,<br />

bank account, home?<br />

2) What could you do if Jesus came to visit<br />

your house?<br />

3) What would you show Jesus in your house?<br />

4) What food would you serve Jesus?<br />

Make a knocking sound <strong>on</strong> a<br />

table, and lead children in<br />

saying, “Come in, Jesus!<br />

There’s room for You in our<br />

heart…mind…home…day…<br />

etc.” Repeat <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> activity<br />

several times.<br />

• God’s heart has room for every<strong>on</strong>e. How<br />

do you decide what kind of people to<br />

accept and what kind to reject?<br />

• Have you ever been rejected/left out?<br />

What did it feel like?<br />

• Ask your mom or dad about how <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

welcomed/became friends with some<strong>on</strong>e<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y thought was very different or<br />

unpleasant.<br />

• Is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re some<strong>on</strong>e you have a hard time<br />

accepting or getting al<strong>on</strong>g with? Pray and<br />

ask God to help you see that pers<strong>on</strong> like<br />

Jesus does.<br />

• Think of some<strong>on</strong>e in school who no <strong>on</strong>e<br />

seems to like. What can you do to welcome<br />

that pers<strong>on</strong> and make <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m feel special?<br />

The first pers<strong>on</strong> says, "I'm taking a trip<br />

and I am going to pack... " and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n fills<br />

in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rest of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sentence.<br />

It could be a piece of clothing or<br />

a toy or a pers<strong>on</strong> or whatever<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y choose.<br />

Each pers<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n repeats<br />

what <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> last pers<strong>on</strong> said,<br />

and adds <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir own<br />

selecti<strong>on</strong> to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> end<br />

and so <strong>on</strong>.<br />

25


26<br />

I guess t<strong>his</strong> is it for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

night. The man was right,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable was very smelly.<br />

There were goats, sheep,<br />

cows, and camels all<br />

mooing and baaing<br />

toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r — <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y weren’t<br />

happy that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y were<br />

going to have to share<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir already small<br />

space with us t<strong>on</strong>ight.


Joseph cleared some space in<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> hay, laid Mary down, and<br />

quickly fell asleep. I lay down to<br />

sleep next to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m, but all I<br />

could hear were <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> goats in<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> corner chatting away.<br />

“Who are <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>se people? Why<br />

are <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y allowed in our house?<br />

They are taking up all of our<br />

space!”<br />

They were being very unkind. I<br />

turned over and did my best to<br />

tune <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m out, finally falling<br />

fast asleep with dreams of<br />

carrots and fresh grass going<br />

through my head.<br />

27


I woke up to see Joseph all flustered. All <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r animals were<br />

backed up against <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wall. What is going <strong>on</strong>?<br />

Mary was lying <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> straw looking quite uncomfortable, when<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> innkeeper’s wife burst into <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable. “Every<strong>on</strong>e keep calm.<br />

The baby is going to be born today!”<br />

28


Finally! We’ve been waiting for that kid for such a l<strong>on</strong>g time! The<br />

innkeeper’s wife sent Joseph out to get some towels and knelt down<br />

next to Mary. I stood back and kept c<strong>on</strong>trol of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> now very excited<br />

sheep in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> back corner. Sheep can be very difficult when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y get<br />

excited...<br />

After what seemed like ages, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was a very loud cry. The baby was<br />

born! Now, I thought t<strong>his</strong> was meant to be a very special baby, sent by<br />

God to save us all. But <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby looked like any o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r baby I had ever<br />

seen. He cried a lot, wanted food a lot, slept a lot, and needed <strong>his</strong><br />

diaper changed A LOT. He could do nothing by himself — how is he<br />

meant to save <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world?<br />

They gave him <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> name that God picked for him — Jesus. T<strong>his</strong> baby<br />

doesn’t seem very special right now, but just you wait — <strong>his</strong> name<br />

goes <strong>on</strong> to become <strong>on</strong>e of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> BIGGEST in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> whole <strong>his</strong>tory of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

world. Pretty crazy to<br />

think about when you’re<br />

looking at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> squirming<br />

baby lying in a cow’s<br />

manger!<br />

29


Do you have a best friend? How did you get to know <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m? What<br />

do you have in comm<strong>on</strong>? When Jesus was born, lots of people<br />

were expecting an impressive king, but Jesus came as a baby.<br />

He cried and slept and ate just like we did when we were babies. Jesus came to earth as a<br />

pers<strong>on</strong> so that we could get to know him. God became like us so he could get close to us.<br />

If you want to get to know somebody, what do you do? You spend time with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m! How do<br />

you spend time with Jesus?<br />

Color in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> crown.<br />

How shiny can you<br />

make it look?<br />

30<br />

1. What’s <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> best gift you’ve ever been given?<br />

2. Check out John 3:16. What does t<strong>his</strong> tell us about<br />

why Jesus came to earth? How does t<strong>his</strong> verse make<br />

you feel?<br />

3. People were expecting God to come to earth as an<br />

impressive looking king. Why do you think God chose<br />

to come to earth as a baby?<br />

4. How does it feel when somebody knows you really<br />

well? How do you get to know somebody?<br />

5. Jesus loves us so he wants to spend time with us!<br />

How do you spend time with Jesus?<br />

Draw or write something<br />

that will remind you that<br />

Jesus <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> King came to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

world as a baby, just like you<br />

and me. Do you have a photo<br />

of yourself as a baby that<br />

you could put <strong>on</strong> your<br />

decorati<strong>on</strong>?


Have every<strong>on</strong>e sit in a<br />

circle. Begin by rolling a<br />

ball to a child. Then have<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> child with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ball<br />

imitate an animal sound<br />

that might have been<br />

heard in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

night Jesus was born.<br />

Encourage <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rest of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> family to guess<br />

what animal it is.<br />

Then have <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> child<br />

roll <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ball to ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r<br />

player. C<strong>on</strong>tinue until<br />

every<strong>on</strong>e’s had a turn.<br />

Snuggle up with your child and look<br />

through <strong>his</strong> or her baby album (or<br />

Gotcha album). Talk about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> time<br />

your child was born (or adopted)<br />

and compare (and c<strong>on</strong>trast) your<br />

child’s birth with Jesus’ humble birth<br />

in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stable. Compare a crib with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

manger, compare <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sounds of a<br />

hospital delivery room with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

sounds of a stable, and so <strong>on</strong>. Point<br />

out that Jesus was a gift from God,<br />

and so is your child!<br />

Jesus was born in a stable and slept in<br />

a manger because <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was no room<br />

for <strong>his</strong> family in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> inn. C<strong>on</strong>sider<br />

inviting some<strong>on</strong>e who is al<strong>on</strong>e to<br />

celebrate Christmas with your family<br />

t<strong>his</strong> year—perhaps a child from a<br />

children’s home, an elderly pers<strong>on</strong><br />

living al<strong>on</strong>e, or a college student far<br />

from home. Al<strong>on</strong>g with a good meal<br />

and loving company, provide a few<br />

presents so your guest can be<br />

completely involved.<br />

Jesus was born a human just<br />

like you and me. Can you<br />

bake some gingerbread men?<br />

Decorate <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to look like<br />

yourself and your family!<br />

Recipe <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

next page!<br />

31


2/3 cup unsalted butter (room temp)<br />

3/4 cup brown sugar<br />

2/3 cup molasses<br />

1 large egg (room temp)<br />

1 tsp vanilla extract<br />

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour<br />

1 tsp baking soda<br />

1/2 tsp salt<br />

1 tbsp ground ginger<br />

1 tbsp ground cinnam<strong>on</strong><br />

1/2 tsp ground allspice<br />

1/2 tsp ground cloves<br />

1. In a large bowl, beat <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> butter for 1 minute until smooth and<br />

creamy. Add <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> brown sugar and molasses and beat <strong>on</strong> medium<br />

high spead until combined and creamy looking. Add <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> egg and<br />

vanilla and beat <strong>on</strong> high speed until nicely combined.<br />

2. In a separate bowl, w<strong>his</strong>k <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> flour, baking soda, salt, and<br />

spices toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r until well combined. Then <strong>on</strong> low speed, mix<br />

in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wet ingredients thoroughly.<br />

3. The dough will be quick thick and<br />

slightly sticky. Divide it in half.<br />

4. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill<br />

for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.<br />

5. Remove <strong>on</strong>e half of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> dough from <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> refrigerator.<br />

Generously flour a work surface, your hands, and a<br />

rolling pin. Roll out until 1/4 inch thick.<br />

6. Cut out <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shapes and place 1 inch<br />

apart <strong>on</strong> baking sheet lined with<br />

parchment paper. Repeat with sec<strong>on</strong>d<br />

half until all dough is used.<br />

7. Bake cookies at 350ºF<br />

for 9-10 minutes.<br />

8. Allow to cool<br />

completely and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<br />

decorate!


What did baby Jesus sleep <strong>on</strong> in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

manger?<br />

A. Cabbage leaves<br />

B. Rose petals<br />

C. Grass blades<br />

D. Bird fea<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>rs<br />

Ask each family member to share:<br />

1) If Jesus is king, what does that make us?<br />

Prince and princesses? Servants of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> king?<br />

2) Where were you born?<br />

3) Why do you think God allowed Jesus to be<br />

born in a stable?<br />

4) If you could’ve been <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re when Jesus was<br />

born, who would you have wanted to be?<br />

Why?<br />

Let’s pretend to hold baby Jesus while we pray<br />

and thank God for Jesus. Have every family<br />

member pretend to rock a baby in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir arms<br />

and invite <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to take turns praying several<br />

<strong>on</strong>e-sentence prayers after you. Ideas:<br />

• Welcome to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world, Jesus!<br />

• Thank you for coming to be with us.<br />

• We’re so glad that you’re always with us.<br />

Sing “Away in a Manger” as <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> closing prayer.<br />

It can serve as a lullaby to your imaginary<br />

baby Jesus.<br />

Choose a n<strong>on</strong>-breakable ornament from<br />

your tree, or get a ball.<br />

Toss <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ornament around with your<br />

family.<br />

Every<strong>on</strong>e, grab a piece of paper and a<br />

pen. First, draw letter g. Now, draw<br />

Mary and baby Jesus from <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> letter g.<br />

Say <strong>on</strong>e thing you know about Jesus each<br />

time you catch <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ornament, and have<br />

your family members do <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> same.<br />

Play ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r round, <strong>on</strong>ly t<strong>his</strong><br />

time have every<strong>on</strong>e share<br />

what gift <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y could give to<br />

| Jesus.<br />

33


Now at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> same time that all of<br />

t<strong>his</strong> was happening, o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r exciting<br />

things were taking place in a field<br />

far away. Actually, my friend<br />

Sofia (a sheep I had met <strong>on</strong><br />

vacati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong>ce) was <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re to<br />

witness <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> whole thing.<br />

I’ll let her tell it:<br />

34


Oh my goodness, we were just minding our own business,<br />

eating some grass here and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re, when an entire choir of<br />

angels just showed up. There was music, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was<br />

choreographed dancing, trumpets, singing — <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> whole deal.<br />

The shepherds who were<br />

watching us were terrified;<br />

all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y knew was sheep and<br />

shepherding, and as far as<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y knew, t<strong>his</strong> situati<strong>on</strong> was<br />

not a part of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> job<br />

descripti<strong>on</strong>.<br />

35


They looked at each o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r, looked at us,<br />

and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n back at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angels, when <strong>on</strong>e of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m spoke, saying:<br />

“Shepherds, do not be afraid — we have<br />

been sent here by God to tell you some<br />

amazing news. There is a new king being<br />

born in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> town of Bethlehem and he<br />

wants you to go and visit him.”


“Why us?” <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shepherds asked, “we are just some<br />

poor and dirty shepherds. A king would never want to<br />

see us!”<br />

“Well t<strong>his</strong> King is different,” <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angel said. “He<br />

wasn’t chosen by people but by God. He wants to<br />

get to know every<strong>on</strong>e, it doesn’t matter if you are<br />

rich or powerful or have great clo<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>s — he wants<br />

to help every<strong>on</strong>e.”<br />

So <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shepherds and all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sheep left <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> hill and<br />

made our way to Bethlehem. We were all very excited!<br />

37


The shepherds were some of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> first people in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> whole<br />

world to be told <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> amazing news that Jesus was born.<br />

God didn’t choose <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rich people or those who went to fancy schools or had very<br />

important big-boss jobs. He chose shepherds. In <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Bible times, shepherds were seen as<br />

being very unimportant and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y didn’t have many friends. So why did God choose <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to<br />

hear such important news? God chose <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to show us that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Good News is for every<strong>on</strong>e!<br />

Anybody who wants to can learn about God and have <strong>his</strong> love and hope in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir lives.<br />

1. What is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Good News?<br />

2. Why do you think God chose <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

shepherds to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> first people to hear<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Good News?<br />

3. How do you think <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shepherds felt when<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y heard that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus was being<br />

born?<br />

4. What do you think <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y were expecting to<br />

find when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y went to see <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus?<br />

5. How does <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Christmas story make you feel?<br />

6. In <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star, write down what gifts and talents<br />

you have that you can bring to God’s family.<br />

“What gifts and talents do<br />

you have and how do you use<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m for God?”<br />

Write or draw<br />

something that<br />

reminds you that<br />

every<strong>on</strong>e is important<br />

to God and that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Good News of Jesus is<br />

for every<strong>on</strong>e.<br />

38


Ask a parent to scan t<strong>his</strong> QR<br />

code and toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r watch <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

story of when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> angels tell<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shepherds of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> birth of<br />

Jesus Christ.<br />

1. Go outside and look at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> clouds — what do<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y look like? Do any of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m look like sheep?<br />

2. Try drawing your own cloud — make sure <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y’re<br />

extra fluffy!<br />

3. Once you’ve drawn your cloud, add a head by<br />

making a circle <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> side of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> cloud.<br />

4. Add ears, eyes, and a mouth!<br />

5. Draw a little tail <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r side of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> cloud.<br />

(Can you see a sheep yet?)<br />

6. You can also color in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sky. What color will<br />

your sky be?<br />

For t<strong>his</strong> game, you will need:<br />

• Ballo<strong>on</strong>s<br />

• Newspaper<br />

• A stopwatch or timer<br />

1. Roll your newspaper into a shepherd’s staff.<br />

2. Blow up <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ballo<strong>on</strong>s (you may need an adult to help you) to<br />

represent sheep.<br />

3. Make a pen (like a secti<strong>on</strong> of your living room, a hula hoop, etc)<br />

behind a dining room chair.<br />

4. Use your shepherd’s staff to round up <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ballo<strong>on</strong>s into <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pen<br />

you’ve created. How quickly can you do it? Who can do it <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

quickest? Who can round up <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> most ballo<strong>on</strong>s in 1 minute?<br />

39


40


Now at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> time, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re was a mean King in<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> land named Herod. One day, he heard<br />

that a King had been born in a stable in<br />

Bethlehem. “Bethlehem? In a stable?” he<br />

started chuckling to himself, “Can’t be much<br />

of a King, he wasn’t even born in a palace!”<br />

But over <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next few weeks and m<strong>on</strong>ths, he<br />

started to hear more and more about t<strong>his</strong><br />

mysterious baby King. Lots of people came to<br />

<strong>his</strong> palace saying, “Have you heard, a new<br />

King has been born? Does t<strong>his</strong> mean you’ll be<br />

replaced so<strong>on</strong>?”<br />

Herod was a very jealous man. He did not like<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> idea <strong>on</strong>e bit that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re might be ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r<br />

King in town and that he didn’t know<br />

anything about him, so he ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>red <strong>his</strong><br />

advisors to figure out what he should do<br />

about it. They needed a plan...<br />

41


1 CORINTHIANS<br />

1:27-28, 31<br />

Herod was <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> king in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> time when Jesus was born. He<br />

was very rich, powerful, and important. When he heard that<br />

a baby was going to replace him as king, he was very jealous.<br />

He couldn’t imagine anybody being more important than him, especially not a baby!<br />

Jesus didn’t seem like he was very rich or very str<strong>on</strong>g or very important. He was just a<br />

baby, born in a stable, to a poor carpenter and <strong>his</strong> wife. But <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> shepherds and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> three<br />

wise men knew that Jesus was <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> King of Heaven.<br />

Write or draw<br />

something that<br />

reminds you that<br />

Jesus is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> King<br />

or to remind you<br />

that we should<br />

not be jealous.<br />

1. What did people expect a king to be like?<br />

2. Have you ever felt jealous? Why? What was it like?<br />

3. Why was Herod jealous of Jesus?<br />

4. Check out Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:13-16. What did Herod do<br />

because of <strong>his</strong> jealousy?<br />

5. What makes Jesus different from Herod?<br />

6. How can we be less like Herod and more like Jesus?<br />

42


1. Find a piece of colorful c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> paper or card stock and cut it in half.<br />

Stick <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> two halves toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r to make <strong>on</strong>e l<strong>on</strong>g piece.<br />

2. Cut triangles out of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> top to make a crown shape.<br />

3. Decorate your crown! You could<br />

color it in, or stick colorful paper or<br />

stickers around it.<br />

4. Tape <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> two ends of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> card<br />

stock toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r to make a complete<br />

circle. You can now wear your crown!<br />

Herod tried to steal God’s gift to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> world.<br />

1. One pers<strong>on</strong> stands facing a wall with a present<br />

behind <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m.<br />

2. Every<strong>on</strong>e else has to attempt to steal <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> gift from<br />

behind <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m and carry it back to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> starting point.<br />

3. The pers<strong>on</strong> facing <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wall turns around whenever<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y hear a noise behind <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m.<br />

4. If <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y catch some<strong>on</strong>e touching <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> gift, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

win. If some<strong>on</strong>e manages to get <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> gift back to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

starting line, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y win.<br />

Two players: Jesus and Herod.<br />

The aim of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> game is for Jesus to try and<br />

beat Herod to Egypt before Herod catches him.<br />

Jesus goes first.<br />

Jesus wins if he gets to Egypt first.<br />

Herod wins if he lands <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> same square as<br />

Jesus or reaches Egypt before him.<br />

Make two playing pieces out of small st<strong>on</strong>es;<br />

draw <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to make <strong>on</strong>e Herod and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r Jesus. You will need to find a dice from<br />

ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r game!<br />

43


Oh no! You<br />

went <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

wr<strong>on</strong>g way.<br />

Follow <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

arrow.<br />

You’ve been<br />

walking a<br />

l<strong>on</strong>g time and<br />

need a break.<br />

Miss a turn!<br />

Challenge: If you<br />

can stand <strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong>e<br />

leg for 30 sec<strong>on</strong>ds,<br />

move forward<br />

3 spaces!<br />

You found a<br />

shortcut through<br />

a mountain!<br />

Follow <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

arrow.<br />

You dropped<br />

your keys in<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sand. Go<br />

back 6 spaces<br />

to find <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m!<br />

You found a lake.<br />

Have a rest and<br />

drink! Miss a turn!<br />

Go back<br />

three<br />

spaces!<br />

Challenge:<br />

Do five<br />

jumping<br />

jacks!<br />

Here’s a<br />

d<strong>on</strong>key to<br />

help you.<br />

Roll again!<br />

Move<br />

forward<br />

two<br />

spaces!<br />

44


When King Herod heard about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

newborn King, he felt... (HINT: See<br />

Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:3)<br />

A. Jumpy<br />

B. Jazzy<br />

C. Jittery<br />

D. Jolly<br />

One evening t<strong>his</strong> week, go outside with<br />

your children early enough to watch for<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> first star to appear in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> night sky. Have your<br />

child look for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> biggest or brightest star or <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<strong>on</strong>e that twinkles <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> most.<br />

Remind your children who made <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> stars. Share<br />

how God put each star in its special place. Then talk<br />

about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> special star God placed in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sky to<br />

announce <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> birth of Jesus.<br />

Ask:<br />

• What do you like about stars?<br />

• What do you think of how God let people know<br />

about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> birth of Jesus?<br />

• On <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next page, you’ll read <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> story of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

wise men and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir l<strong>on</strong>g <strong>journey</strong> to find Jesus.<br />

Why might you want to travel that far to see<br />

Jesus?<br />

• Talk about what you’d want to travel far to see.<br />

Ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r your family and read Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:1-7.<br />

Show your family <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby doll wrapped in a<br />

towel, and tell <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m you’re going to play a<br />

game to find baby Jesus, kind of like <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise<br />

men did.<br />

Have your family members close <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir eyes.<br />

Place <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby somewhere in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> house. After<br />

you’ve hidden <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> doll, give your family clues<br />

to find baby Jesus.<br />

Let each family member take a<br />

turn hiding <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby and<br />

giving clues for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rest of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> family to find it.<br />

Discuss: Where can you find<br />

Jesus today?<br />

Ask a parent to scan t<strong>his</strong> QR code <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir<br />

smartph<strong>on</strong>e or tablet, and peek inside <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

royal palace where <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> evil king is making<br />

some frightening plans.<br />

After reading <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> story of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men,<br />

ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r every<strong>on</strong>e in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> kitchen. Lay an apple<br />

<strong>on</strong> its rounded side, and cut it into several<br />

slices.<br />

Cut enough apple slices for each child to<br />

have two. You’ll also need a small jar of<br />

cinnam<strong>on</strong> sugar.<br />

Tell children that <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y’ll be able to find a<br />

star in each apple slice. Pass out <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> apples,<br />

and see if any<strong>on</strong>e can find <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

middle.<br />

Help children remove<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> seeds and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<br />

sprinkle <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> apple<br />

slices with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

cinnam<strong>on</strong> sugar. As<br />

children eat <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir<br />

apple slices, talk<br />

about how <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise<br />

men followed <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star to find Jesus.<br />

45


Three wise men came to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> palace door. They were<br />

searching for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> new King <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y’d heard was born, so<br />

obviously <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y came to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> palace to find him! But <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

new baby King wasn’t <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>re — what should <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y do now?<br />

Herod brought <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m into <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> palace; he was a man<br />

with a plan. He told <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men that he wanted to be<br />

able to c<strong>on</strong>gratulate and bring some gifts to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> new<br />

King, but he was far too busy to travel himself.<br />

The wise men would go in <strong>his</strong> place!<br />

46


Now Herod would be able to secretly know more about<br />

t<strong>his</strong> so-called King, so that he could see what he could do<br />

about it!<br />

The wise men set off with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir camels and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir gifts for<br />

a l<strong>on</strong>g <strong>journey</strong>. They followed a bright star in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sky that<br />

led <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> way to Bethlehem.<br />

I saw <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m coming towards <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> house. They were so<br />

excited to finally see Jesus, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> King <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y had been<br />

searching for! They pulled some glistening wrapped<br />

presents out of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir bags (why does no <strong>on</strong>e ever bring<br />

me a present — even a carrot would be lovely!). Gold,<br />

frankincense, and myrrh. Not sure what <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y are<br />

exactly... very shiny and smelly. I think Jesus would have<br />

preferred some Legos to be h<strong>on</strong>est, but everything in<br />

t<strong>his</strong> story has a reas<strong>on</strong>!<br />

Before <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men left, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y had a dream telling <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m<br />

not to go back to King Herod because he was a mean<br />

man who didn’t want good things for Jesus. So, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

changed <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> destinati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir star GPS and set off to<br />

ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r land.<br />

47


The three wise men spotted <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star and followed it to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby<br />

Jesus. They thought <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y were going to find Jesus in a a palace in<br />

Jerusalem but instead <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y found him in a house in Bethlehem.<br />

They followed <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star to find <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus even though it didn’t lead <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m where <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

expected. Sometimes when we follow Jesus, he leads us to places we d<strong>on</strong>’t expect. But he<br />

always leads us to good things, and sometimes <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> things we find are better than <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> things we<br />

were expecting.<br />

Write or draw<br />

something to<br />

remind you<br />

that Jesus is a<br />

gift worth<br />

searching for!<br />

1. What were <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men expecting to find when<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y followed <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star?<br />

2. How do you think <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men felt when <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

found <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus?<br />

3. Check out Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:7-16. How did <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men<br />

trick Herod?<br />

4. God used a star to lead <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men. How else<br />

does God show us what to do?<br />

5. What do you think God might be leading you to?<br />

48


1. Glue two popsicle sticks toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r,<br />

so it looks like a bottomless triangle.<br />

2. Glue a third popsicle stick <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r<br />

side of an end of <strong>on</strong>e of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> two popsicle<br />

sticks that you have stuck toge<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r.<br />

3. Glue <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> fourth popsicle stick to<br />

make ano<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r bottomless triangle.<br />

4. Finally, glue <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> fifth popsicle stick so<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> ends meet. Your star is complete, yay!<br />

5. Then, turn your star ornament and form<br />

a loop with a small piece of ribb<strong>on</strong>, glue <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

loop to <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> back of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star. You can now<br />

hang your star <strong>on</strong> your Christmas tree.<br />

6. If you want to jazz your star up even<br />

more, you can use scrunched up tissue<br />

paper to cover <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> popsicle sticks, or<br />

decorate however you want!<br />

1. Write down some Christmas <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>med words<br />

<strong>on</strong> pieces of paper, fold <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m all in half,<br />

and put <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m in a pile.<br />

2. Take turns picking a word from <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> pile and<br />

drawing it for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r people to guess!<br />

3. Once <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> word has been guessed, it’s <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

next pers<strong>on</strong>’s turn to pick a word.<br />

Help <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> three wise<br />

men find Jesus by<br />

completing <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> maze<br />

<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next page!<br />

Maybe instead of drawing <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> words you could<br />

make <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m out of play dough or act <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m out!<br />

49


50<br />

Help <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> three wise men<br />

find Jesus by going<br />

through <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> maze and<br />

creating a special shape!


Why did <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men want to find<br />

Jesus? (HINT: See Mat<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>w 2:2)<br />

A. To sing him a lullaby.<br />

B. To take a selfie with him.<br />

C. To play peekaboo with him.<br />

D. To worship him.<br />

Beforehand, hide a doll or nativity piece<br />

representing baby Jesus <strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong>e side of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> room.<br />

Invite <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> children to come into <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> room and form<br />

a line, shoulder to shoulder, at <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> opposite side of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> room from where you hid <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus. Then<br />

say: Let’s pretend we’re <strong>on</strong> a <strong>journey</strong> to find Jesus<br />

by following <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> sky.<br />

Dim or turn off <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> lights. When I shine t<strong>his</strong><br />

flashlight <strong>on</strong> your feet, you may follow <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> light<br />

shining <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> floor in fr<strong>on</strong>t of you. But when I<br />

turn it off, you must freeze right where you are.<br />

Like <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star led <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise men, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> flashlight will<br />

lead you to baby Jesus.<br />

Lead each child <strong>on</strong>e at a time toward <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby Jesus<br />

figure. When all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> children are close, lead <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>m to<br />

baby Jesus by shining <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> light where you hid baby<br />

Jesus. C<strong>on</strong>tinue leading <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> children until every<strong>on</strong>e<br />

has spotted Jesus. Ask: What are some ways you<br />

can look for Jesus in your life?<br />

Ask a parent to scan<br />

t<strong>his</strong> QR code <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir<br />

smartph<strong>on</strong>e or<br />

tablet, and follow<br />

al<strong>on</strong>g with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> wise<br />

men as <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y follow<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> star.<br />

Have every<strong>on</strong>e sit in a circle <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> floor<br />

with <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir hands in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir laps. Choose <strong>on</strong>e<br />

child to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Wise Man and to sit in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

center of <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> circle with <strong>his</strong> or her eyes<br />

closed. Hand a gift box to some<strong>on</strong>e, and<br />

have that pers<strong>on</strong> hold <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> gift box behind <strong>his</strong><br />

or her back. Be sure <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r people have<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir hands behind <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>ir backs, too.<br />

Have <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> children call out, “Who’s got a gift<br />

for <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> baby king? Find it, and we’ll go<br />

traveling.”<br />

Make a family nativity scene by sculpting<br />

aluminum foil into different characters<br />

involved in <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Christmas story.<br />

Give <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Wise Man two guesses to find <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

gift. The Wise Man may hide <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> gift box for<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> next round, and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> player who had <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

gift becomes <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> new Wise Man.<br />

Discuss:<br />

• What is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> best gift you’ve ever<br />

wrapped up and given to some<strong>on</strong>e?<br />

• What is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> best gift you’ve ever<br />

received?<br />

• What <strong>on</strong>e gift can our family<br />

give to Jesus t<strong>his</strong> week?<br />

51


52


STEP ONE: Use <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> grid to copy <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> drawing<br />

STEP TWO: Color it in!<br />

53


How l<strong>on</strong>g ago<br />

did Jesus live?<br />

What was Jesus<br />

like as a child?<br />

Why do some<br />

dates have A.D.<br />

and B.C.?<br />

Was Jesus married?<br />

Did He have children?<br />

Who did Jesus hang out<br />

with? Who were His friends?<br />

Did Jesus have<br />

bro<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>rs and sisters?<br />

What miracle would you<br />

like to see Jesus do?<br />

If Jesus came to spend <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> day<br />

with you, what would you<br />

choose to do with Him?<br />

Is Jesus in<br />

<strong>his</strong>tory books?<br />

Where is Jesus today?<br />

If you could ask Jesus any<br />

questi<strong>on</strong>, what would that be?<br />

Is Christ Jesus’<br />

last name?<br />

What is your favorite<br />

thing about Jesus?<br />

What do you think<br />

Jesus thinks about you?<br />

Thank you so much for following me<br />

<strong>on</strong> my <strong>greatest</strong> <strong>journey</strong>. You know,<br />

that special baby boy eventually<br />

grew up and did some pretty<br />

amazing things. Why d<strong>on</strong>’t you take<br />

some time and learn a little bit more<br />

about Jesus by thinking through <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

questi<strong>on</strong>s <strong>on</strong> t<strong>his</strong> page? If you get<br />

stuck, you may want to ask your<br />

parents or your pastor to help you.<br />

54


Christmas is all about <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Good News of God’s love.<br />

In <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> beginning of time, God created a perfect world. There was no sickness, sadness,<br />

meanness, or death.<br />

God also made people, so we could enjoy His beautiful world and be close to Him.<br />

Unfortunately, people decided <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y didn’t really need God. They thought <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<br />

would be better off without Him.<br />

So, <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y stopped trusting God, and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>y chose to disobey Him.<br />

Their sin messed up God’s perfect world and ruined our friendship<br />

with God.<br />

Sin separated us from God, but thankfully God didn’t want to<br />

be separated from us.<br />

That’s why He sent His <strong>on</strong>ly s<strong>on</strong>, Jesus—to make a way for us back<br />

into God’s family.<br />

At just <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> right time, Jesus showed up as a baby born in a manger.<br />

He grew up, lived a perfect, sinless life, and <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>n He died <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> cross for all <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

wr<strong>on</strong>g things we had d<strong>on</strong>e.<br />

On <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> third day, Jesus rose again which broke <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> power of sin and death.<br />

Jesus’ death and resurrecti<strong>on</strong> made it possible for us to be close to God again. Since Jesus<br />

took <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> punishment that we deserve, nothing stands between us and God.<br />

Now anybody can become a part of God’s family! And THAT is <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> Good News of Christmas!<br />

Have you accepted Jesus? If you would you like to<br />

start following Him, pray t<strong>his</strong> prayer:<br />

Dear God, I'm sorry for going my own way and sinning<br />

against You. I deserve to die for my sins and be<br />

separated forever from You. But I believe Your<br />

perfect S<strong>on</strong>, Jesus, took <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> punishment for sin by<br />

dying <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> cross. Then He rose from <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> dead, showing<br />

that He w<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> victory over sin and death. I now turn<br />

from my sin and trust Jesus as my Savior. I commit my life<br />

to You and ask You to save me and accept me into Your<br />

family. I want to use <str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g> rest of my life to serve You<br />

instead of serving myself. Thank You for hearing me.<br />

Amen.


A village girl.<br />

A kind carpenter.<br />

A l<strong>on</strong>g <strong>journey</strong>.<br />

A host of angels.<br />

A bunch of shepherds.<br />

A brand-new star.<br />

A band of stargazers.<br />

A jealous king.<br />

A tiny baby.<br />

The very first Christmas.<br />

56<br />

To obtain more copies of t<strong>his</strong> activity book<br />

and o<str<strong>on</strong>g>the</str<strong>on</strong>g>r faith-nurturing resources,<br />

please visit www.WeAreKidMin.com/shop.

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