“Sharing Time: Christmas All Year,” Friend, Dec. 2000, 11
Have you ever wished it could be Christmas all year? Christmas brings such happy feelings! There are some wonderful things that you can do to have those feelings all year long. Happy feelings come when you prepare for, make, and keep your baptismal covenant by following Jesus’ example at Christmastime and every day of the year.
Christmas is a special time when we think of Jesus Christ and of the kind and loving things He did for others. He did those things throughout His life, not just once a year.
Jesus taught His disciples that when you are kind to others, you are being kind to Him. He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).
Danny found his mother’s best shoes all caked with mud and dirt after a rainstorm. He cleaned, polished, and shined them. Then he polished and shined them again. Finally, when they looked like new, he took them to his mother. She was very surprised and very pleased. She hugged him, then took some money from her purse and put it into his hand. Later, when she put on those newly polished shoes, she felt something in the toe of one of them. It was the money she had given Danny. It was wrapped in a small note that said, “Mother, I did it for love.”
You can be like Danny, doing kind things for others without asking for anything in return. Do it for love—and for love of the Savior.
When she saw that the girl who was visiting in her Primary class had forgotten to bring her scriptures, Jessica slipped quietly out of Primary and went to the meetinghouse library. She borrowed a set of scriptures and, with a smile of welcome, took them to her new friend.
Traci and her family were preparing to move to a new house. Before they moved, she wanted to do something special for the people in her old neighborhood. She thought of many things she might take to her neighbors—cakes, cookies, or other treats. But she wanted this gift to be something they would always remember. Six-year-old Traci wanted to share her testimony with them. With her mother’s help, she wrote down her testimony. She made a copy for each neighbor. Then she visited each house on her street, leaving her love, her smile, and her testimony.
You can find many kind things to do each day. Give a smile to someone who doesn’t have one. Share your toys with your brothers and sisters and friends. Help your mother prepare meals, or clean the house without being asked. Take a treat to someone new in the neighborhood. Be a friend to someone who is lonely. These are gifts that you can give all during the year, not just at Christmas.
Keeping your baptismal covenant means trying to follow Jesus throughout your life. As you follow His example and find ways to serve others each day, remember what He said. It will be as if you are serving Him. It could be like giving Him a Christmas present every day! And just as Traci and Jessica and Danny did, you can celebrate Christmas all year long.
A mosaic is a picture made of small pieces of colored materials such as stone, glass, or tile. You can make one using pieces of colored paper or cloth. Cut the scraps of paper or cloth into many small pieces. Remove page 13 from the magazine and arrange your pieces on the drawing. Use different colors of paper or cloth to make the picture, just as you might use crayons or paints (see illustration).
When you have the pieces positioned the way you want them, glue each one in place. You can make many more Christmas mosaics by drawing your own pictures and gluing the colored scraps in place. Just as a mosaic is made of many little pieces, you can show that you remember Jesus’ birthday all year by doing many little acts of kindness and love.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. Print each of the following commandments on a separate strip of paper. Cut the strips into individual words, and place each set of words in an envelope. Divide the children into groups, giving each group one envelope and a large sheet of paper. Remind the children that Heavenly Father has promised that we can live with Him forever if we keep our promises to Him. When we are baptized, we promise to keep His commandments. Explain that each envelope contains the words of a commandment of the Lord. Challenge the children to place the words in their envelopes in the correct order at the top of the paper, then tape or glue them in place. Next, have the children draw a picture that illustrates keeping that commandment and think of a Primary song that helps us remember the commandment. Have each group share their commandment, picture, and song (all the children could sing each song). Choose some of the following, or choose other commandments according to the needs of the children in your Primary:
Be baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and obey His promptings.
Receive the temple ordinances.
Love and worship Heavenly Father.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Repent when you make a mistake.
Pay honest tithes and offerings.
Be honest in your dealings with others and with the Lord.
Speak the truth always.
Obey the Word of Wisdom.
Keep the Sabbath Day holy.
Renew your baptismal covenant by partaking of the sacrament.
Complete your family history and perform temple ordinances for your ancestors.
Pray every day by yourself and with your family.
Love and honor your parents.
Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
Study the scriptures daily.
Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.
The posters could be displayed in the Primary room throughout the month. Suggest that the children share this activity with their families.
2. On small cards, make a set of alphabet letters for each class, one letter on a card and three or four of each letter except q and x . Read with the children the account of the Savior’s birth from Luke 2:1, 3–20 and Matt. 2:1–2, 8–11. Help the children to choose key words (e.g., Nazareth, Bethlehem, Mary, firstborn son, swaddling clothes, manger, shepherds, angel, good tidings, Saviour, multitude) from these verses; list them on a chalkboard or paper. As key words are selected, sing a song that correlates. E.g., if Bethlehem is chosen, you could sing “When Joseph Went to Bethlehem” (CS, pp. 38–39).
Seat the children in circles on the floor, giving each group one set of alphabet letters. You may want to mix children of different ages so that the older children can help the younger ones. Have each group of children place their letters facedown on the floor. The leader announces one of the key words (e.g., manger). In turn, a child in each group picks a letter from that group’s pile. If that letter is needed in the key word, the child places it faceup in front of his/her group; if not, he/she puts it facedown back into the pile. This process continues until a group has formed the word. That group then chooses the next key word from the list. Play continues as time allows. Suggest that the children make this game as a gift for their families.
3. With the help of the music leader, sing-a-story (see Sharing Time Resource Manual, pp. 26–27) of the birth of the Savior. Using Luke 2:1, 3–20; Matt. 2:1–2, 8–11; Hel. 13:2–4; Hel. 14:2–4; 3 Ne. 1:9–15, read the accounts from the scriptures, interspersing the appropriate songs. Using simple costumes, let the children dramatize the scriptures. For the older children, do a Reader’s Theater (see Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 177), using the same scriptures. Invite guests to provide special musical numbers, or augment the children’s singing with violin or resonator bells or other appropriate instruments.
4. Divide the children into twelve (or six) groups. Give each group a slip of paper with one (or two) of the monthly themes for the year written on it. Include the scriptures for each month. Have each group plan a charade or dramatization depicting the theme(s) for the rest of the children to guess. As a theme is correctly discovered, the group presenting the dramatization could recite, or lead the Primary in reciting, the correlating scripture. Sing the song that was learned in that month and other songs that support the theme. Suggest that the children share this activity with their families.
5. Additional Friend resources: Sharing Time Ideas (June 2000, pp. 44), “Never Alone” (Feb. 1999, pp. 12–14), Friend to Friend (Feb. 1999, pp. 8–9), “Stay in the Boat” (Mar. 1999, IFC), “Follow Me” (May 1999, IFC), “Billy” (May 1999, pp. 2–5), “I Will Follow Jesus Christ” (May 1999, pp. 24–25), Sharing Time Ideas 2, 4 (May 1999, p. 43), and “Remembering Jesus Christ” (June 1999, pp. 10–11). See also “To Draw Closer to God” (Ensign, May 1991, pp. 65–67) and “‘Come Let Us Adore Him’” (Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 156–160).