Kate Ensign-Lewis - December 22, 2011
Celebrate Christmas by re-enacting the story of Christmas itself – the Nativity.
What better way to bring in the true spirit of Christmas than reminding the family the reason for our celebration?
Unfortunately, children sometimes lose interest faster than we would like. The key is to keep it simple. Here are some other tips.
Use as many fun props as possible. Baby doll as Jesus, Dad as donkey, faux gold and trinkets for the wise men to hold and present, a pet dog or stuffed animals as sheep for the shepherds, wings and glitter for the angel, etc., will all add interest and excitement for the children involved. Dress ups can be easily made with bathrobes and towels.
Allow the children to exhibit their talents. If you have one that can play a Christmas song on a musical instrument, work it into the program. If one of them likes to read, help them to be the narrator.
Have one of the adults be the “director.” Make sure one of the adults can whisper or remind children of their lines and give direction to them. (This can be the narrator.)
We’ve given you a couple options. You can follow the part-scripture, part-paraphrase scripts (for younger children) that have more songs from the Children’s Songbook. Or, read the script that outlines as the scriptures tell it (for a closer reading), which has a mixture of children’s songs and traditional Christmas songs; this script would work best with children mostly 9 and up. The songs suggested may be cut if you think they will be too difficult. Consider using songs you know your children have been learning in Primary or other places.
LDS Living - December 15, 2011
Vote for your favorite Christmas hymn!
A few months ago LDS Living held a contest called The "Favoritest" Hymn of All where readers voted for their favorite song in the hymn book. (Click on the link to find out the winner of that poll!) Today we're doing the same thing, but with Christmas songs. Vote below for your most-loved Christmas hymn, and leave a comment of your favorite secular (or non-hymn) song.
Emily Watts - December 07, 2011
I’ve been in the LDS publishing industry a long time, so a lot of books have washed over me through the years. Many have inspired me, uplifted me, and helped shape my testimony. But few have truly changed the way I see the world.
Increase in Learning, by Elder David A. Bednar, is one of those few. Its basic premise, that the answers to all of our questions are found in the truths of the gospel, is deceptively simple. It’s one thing to believe the answers are there. It’s quite another to figure out how to find them.
What this book does is give me a new way to approach the questions I’m asking. It helps me understand how to go deeper, both in my studying and in my praying. It gives me tools and makes me want to learn, to explore, to ponder—and I’ve got to admit, I don’t always feel that way. As Elder Bednar tells one young man on the DVD, “If this has taken you out of your comfort zone, I am deliriously happy!”
This reminds me to mention the DVD. It is a priceless opportunity to feel like you’re being taught directly by an apostle. There’s a wonderful Q&A session with a group of young adults and a personal interview with Elder and Sister Bednar talking about the concepts in the book; both are crucial connection points that help you digest the book’s contents much more effectively. The more you see the pattern Elder Bednar follows, the more excited you get to go out and try it out for yourself.
Ashley Jones - December 06, 2011
We occasionally have the blessing of coming into contact with living angels - those people who unfailingly encourage us to have hope and faith.
I'm guessing most of you remember Elder Holland's talk on "angels"
from October 2008. It was one of my favorite talks that conference season. I think about Elder Holland's words often when I meet someone who leaves me feeling happy and better about myself. Well, I met one of those angels about six months ago. Appropriately named, Angel Randall is the author of a children's book I had the opportunity to help promote. The topic of her book? Angels.
But you're probably asking yourself, what qualifies her to be an angel? In 2009, while she was in her mid-20's, Angel Randall was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. After a full schedule of treatments, she returned in March 2010 for a checkup where the doctors told her she had six months to live. They explained that with certain treatments, they might be able to help extend her life. This past March, Angel hit her one year mark of defying the doctors' prediction. I met her in June, and at that moment, I learned a very important lesson: faith is the key to happiness.
Angel has every right to feel depressed, scared, and lonely. Is she? No. She could easily be one of the happiest people I know, because she believes in her Savior and does what He would do.
Every few weeks or so, I get an e-mail from Angel simply asking how I'm doing, how my family is doing, if I'm surviving work, and then signs her email:
She sent me a couple of emails with KTF at the bottom, and I finally emailed and asked specifically what KTF means.
SarahJo Ciotti - December 01, 2011
Here are a few essential books to curl up with this Christmas season.
As the holidays come each year, excitement builds, decorations go up, and Christmas songs play on the radio. In celebration of all the hubbub, we’ve compiled a list of essential Christmas stories to read, whether on your own, with your children, or the whole family.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
“Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!”
These famous words mark the beginning of a tale that renews the spirit of joy and caring that is Christmas. This book warms our hearts with favorite memories of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-be—and will remind us with laughter and tears about the true meaning of Christmas.
A Christmas tradition for many, including President Thomas S. Monson, this story is always a delight to read and reread during the Christmas season.
Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright