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And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also sent up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And. lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

St. Luke, Chapter 2 Verses 1-20

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I've had tons of requests for this story....it's a great way to turn a traditional (and inexpensive) holiday treat into a reminder of the Christian meaning of the holiday.
Click here for easy print version
A Candymaker's Witness
A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.
The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Saviour. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.
Unfortunately, the candy became known as the candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear."
I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness TO THE WONDER OF JESUS AND HIS GREAT LOVE that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominate force in the universe today.
---- Author Unknown----
The text of
Luke Chapter 2



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What Does Christmas Mean To You?
By Carey Kinsolving

"Christmas is a birthday party," says Ashley, age 11. "It's Jesus' birthday. At my church, we get a big birthday cake for Jesus."

Ashley, you've got it right. Christmas is party time. It's time to celebrate God's successful invasion of planet Earth. Yes, "invasion" because the Son of God entered hostile territory. In fact, after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph took their baby boy and fled to Egypt.

King Herod didn't like the idea of someone else being called king of the Jews. He ordered that all the male children in Bethlehem 2 years old and younger be killed, but Jesus had already escaped.

"I like to wake up on Christmas morning and pray because I know today represents Jesus' birth," says Bethany, 9. "I thank God for Jesus and my family."

How many kids (or even adults) wake up praying on Christmas morning? I'm impressed.

Kendall, 9, takes a more typical course of action: "One thing that Mom and Dad haven't gotten used to yet is us kids waking them up at 4 a.m. or 3 a.m. to open presents."

Who needs sleep when there are presents to open? "Christmas means getting clothes and stuff, and trying to wear it all on the first day back to school," says Grace, 11.

But that's not all from Grace. Christmas is also "bugging your siblings when there is nothing else to do on snowy days. It means asking your mother over and over how many days until Christmas."

It's easy to get so caught up in all the fun of Christmas traditions that we forget the reason for the season. Jesus is the Messiah that God promised. Wise men from the East knew this when they brought the Christ child gifts that symbolized his identity and mission.

In the ancient East, a person of lower position always brought a gift when approaching a superior. Gold has long been the precious metal of royalty. Frankincense was one of the spices in the incense burned daily in Israel's temple. And myrrh was used to anoint the body of Jesus for burial. Many have seen the royalty, deity and death of Jesus in the wise men's gifts.

"When I look up at the stars, I see a big star, and then it reminds me of Jesus," says Jed, 7. The wise men followed a star. At the time of Jesus' birth, spectacular celestial displays were commonly associated with the birth of someone great.

An Old Testament messianic prophecy predicted, "A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17). Jesus called himself "the Bright and Morning Star" and "the Offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16).

The Apostle Peter calls the prophetic testimony concerning Jesus a "light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (II Peter 1:19). We grope in darkness until light from the bright morning star pierces our hearts. "In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4).

"Christmas means a time of giving love and thanks that Jesus was born to die for our sins," says Ryan (age unknown). "It's a time where we get together and thank the Lord. It's also a time to show love to our families and exchange gifts."

As Ryan stated, "Jesus was born to die for our sins." This is the essence of the Christmas story. Don't miss out on God's greatest gift to us.

Point to ponder: Jesus is God's greatest gift to the world.

Scripture to remember: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Question to consider: Have you received God's greatest gift?

Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see more articles like this one, visit http://www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/ColumnArchive.aspx The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See Carey’s Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Let an 11-year-old girl take you on a trip around the world in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.

Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.

Copyright 2006 Carey Kinsolving Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carey_Kinsolving





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Children's Christmas Craft - Cardboard Nativity Scene
By S. Roberts

The nativity and the birth of Jesus Christ are the fundamental part of Christmas. It’s the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to be counted for the census. Poor Mary was heavily pregnant and had to ride on a donkey. When they got to Bethlehem all the inns were full, and Mary and Joseph spent the night in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God. Angels, shepherds and three wise men from the east came to visit Jesus, who was lying in a manger. This is the traditional image we have of the nativity scene.

To make a cardboard nativity scene all you need is... Loo roll tubes (restroom tissue) or other tubes, scraps of paper and colored card, glue, scissors, felt tip pens, cotton wool, and a few sequins for decoration.

To make the figures... The loo roll tubes for the main body of the figure. Wrap colored paper around your tube so that it completely covers one half of the tube. This becomes the body and the bare tube becomes the figure’s head.

Cut out two small rectangles from some card, these become the arms. Stick them into place n the figure’s body, towards the top of the colored paper. Stick a 'D' shaped piece of flesh colored card on the end of the arm to form a hand.

Draw on the figure’s face with felt tip pens. You can also draw on clothing details or patterns.

Extras... The shepherd holds a crook, its a hooked tool which shepherds use to put around a sheep's neck as a sort of temporary lead to guide the sheep where the shepherd wants it to go. Cut a long hooked shape tool from card and stick it standing upright in the shepherds hand as though he was holding it.

The three wise men wear crowns or a turban. Cut these out of colored paper and wrap them around the top of the wise men's heads. Decorate them with sequins to make them look jewel encrusted.

Joseph holds a lantern. Cut a long stick with a 'V' shape at the top. Stick this into Joseph's hand so that it is standing upright. This pole is to suspend the lantern from.

To make the lantern, take a small, rectangle piece of card and fold it in half so that the top and bottom of the lantern are together. Cut slits along the folded edge. Open up the card and now curve it round so that the two side edges meet and slightly overlap stick these two side edges together. When the glue has dried off a little, give the lantern a little squeeze so that the lantern forms '< >' Shape. Insert a roll of flame colored paper into the lantern, glue and trim so that it fits snugly into place. This makes the lantern glow as though it were lit. Stick on some threat or a thin strip of card so that the lantern can be hung from Joseph's pole.

Sheep are made by covering a loo roll tube in cotton wool. Cut out a face shape from card to stick on one end of the tube. Cotton buds form the sheep's legs and feet. Cut a cotton bud in half to form two legs, glue all the legs into position.

Jesus is made from a rolled up piece of card, with colored paper covering his body.

The manger is made from a loo roll tube. Cut the tube in half lengthwise to form two guttering looking parts. Cut one into leg type shapes on each side and stick the two half tubes together, back to back.

Arrange all the figures on a table to recreate the nativity scene.

You could also attach a thread from your figures and hang them.

See nativity images at http://www.santaspostbag.co.uk/how-to-make-cardboard-nativity-scene.html Christmas makes and fun stuff at http://www.santaspostbag.co.uk/ you can also write Santa a letter telling him what you would like for Christmas, he always replies http://www.santaspostbag.co.uk/write-letter-to-santa.html Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=S._Roberts






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Thanks for sharing this season!

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.



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Dean & Nancy's Christmas Pages
Table of Contents:
| Christmas Party Games and Gift Exchanges | | Chocolate Gifts | - | American Made Gifts | - | Easy Decorations|
| Festive Web Graphics | - | Poems, Stories, Jokes | - | Gift Ideas for Men | - |
Trees & Ornaments |
| Christmas New Orleans Style | - | Holiday Recipes | - | The Reason for the Season | - | Crafts & Home Made Gifts |
| Christmas Links | -
| Winter Weddings | - | Shopping Sources |
| Christmas Music & Sounds | - | Tropical Island Christmas| - | Christmas Movies | - | Live Holiday Help & Chat |


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