Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Before I had children, Christmastime was always so hectic--so many gifts to buy, special traditional foods that take days to prepare, parties every weekend of the month, and the house to clean for guests. In our family, it is important to celebrate the birth Jesus Christ at Christmas, but I found it so hard to find time to do that. After I had children, it became imperative. I loved the traditional Christmas morning devotional that many families have when they read about the birth of the Savior. However, this just seemed a little anti-climactic after all the hustle and bustle of the month. So I decided to combine this devotional with the setting up of the nativity scene and make it last the whole month. Here is what we do (songs are from either the LDS Children's Songbook (CS) or the Hymns):


  • Read: Luke 2:1-5
  • Nativity: Stable, Mary, Joseph, donkey: Place Mary, Joseph and the donkey in their “home” (a location far from the stable). This helps the child understand that they were traveling and Jesus was not there, yet.
  • Song suggestion: When Joseph Went to Bethlehem (CS, 38)


  • Read: Luke 2:6-15
  • Nativity: Add other animals to the stable. Move Mary, Joseph and the donkey to the stable and add the baby Jesus. Place the angel and shepherds away from the stable, but not as far as Mary and Joseph were placed in the first lesson.
    Song suggestions: Little Jesus (CS, 39), Once within a Lowly Stable (CS, 41), Away in the Manger (CS, 42), Mary’s Lullaby (CS, 44), Joy to the World (Hymns, 201), Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful, (Hymns, 202), Silent Night, (Hymns, 204), Once in Royal David’s City (Hymns, 205), O Little Town of Bethlehem (Hymns, 208), Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Hymns, 209), While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Hymns, 211), The First Noel, (Hymns, 213)
  • Video suggestion: The Nativity (Luke II), Joy to the World


  • Read: Luke 2:16-20
  • Nativity: Put the angel away and move the shepherds to the stable. Talk about how important it was for the shepherd to be watching their flocks but that they left them to see the baby Jesus.
  • Song suggestion: The Shepherd’s Carol (CS, 40), Picture a Christmas (CS, 50), Angels We Have Heard on High (Hymns, 203), It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Hymns, 207),


  • Read: Matthew 2:1-11. Point out that the wise men visited the family after they had returned to their house (v. 11).
  • Nativity: Move Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and the donkey from the stable and to the original location they were placed the first week. (This is their home.) Place the wise men with them.
  • Song suggestions: With Wondering Awe (Hymns, 210) In our family, we use the discussion of the gifts that the wise men bring as a basis for exchanging our family gifts. We do it as our regular Family Home Evening, but it would also make a great Christmas morning activity.


  1. This is great, you should add it to the Spell Out Loud, Making Christmas Meaningful Linky Thingy!

  2. Thanks, a lot, Melinda. The site is great. I couldn't find the linky thingy on the site, so I just posted a comment.


Latter-day Homeschooling