Christmas: Advent Calendar

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fullsizerenderJesus is the Reason for the Season

Preparation

  • Print the pictures and the date cards. (Use seven sheets of white cardstock for the pictures and seven sheets of color cardstock for the date cards. You can use Christmas paper for the date cards if desired.)  Number the back of the pictures 1 through 25. (For example: Isaiah would be #1, Nephi would be #2,  the star and moon would be #3, and so forth.) Cut out the pictures and date cards. (A paper-cutter makes the job go faster.)
  • Attach the sign “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” to the top of a poster board or display board and attach the date cards underneath the sign with sticky tack (or purchase a pocket chart and place each date card in a pocket). Walmart has a jewelry pocket holder that would work with this smaller version of the activity.

  •  For little ones, slip the matching pictures behind its date card in the pocket chart, or attach the scripture’s matching picture to the back of the date card before attaching it to the poster board.
  •  See here for a list of the scriptures.

Instructions:

Each day, starting on the first day of December, take a date card off the chart (going in numerical order) and read the scripture together as a family. Older children can find the matching picture that goes with the scripture and replace the date card with the picture, or if you have little ones have them turn the card around so the picture is showing and then put the card back in its spot if using a poster board, or, if using a pocket chart, take out the date card to display the picture behind it.

(The pictures and idea came from the Friend December 1985.)

Activity Cards and Inserts

The below activity cards have an activity related to each day’s scripture, and they also have an item related to the scripture that you can put into the pocket chart or into lunch bags. Click on each page, save, print saved file, and cut out the cards. Put the cards in the correct pockets of the chart, or staple one on each of the lunch bags. Read through the activity list below to make sure you have all the supplies needed, then fill the pockets or bag with those items. (The Christmas squares paper is from Freepik.com)

Day 1: Isaiah Card and Mobile: (Print and cut out the two pages of the “Prophets Foretold Jesus Christ’s Birth Mobile.” Follow the remaining preparation instructions on the activity.) The first few days of the advent calendar are about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth, so on each of the first five days, tie a prophet card on the mobile and read the scripture of that prophet’s words. Day one is Isaiah. Explain that a virgin is a pure woman and Immanuel means “God with Us” meaning Jesus’ birth into mortality.

Day 2: Nephi Card and Coloring Page: (Print a copy of the coloring page for each person who will be coloring. Include crayons in the sack or pocket.) Have a child tie the Nephi card onto the mobile and then have family members color in the figures of Nephi and Isaiah on the coloring page. Ask the  children what the scripture tells about Jesus’ birth.

Day 3: Samuel the Lamanite Card, Video, and Song: Tie the Samuel the Lamanite card onto the mobile. Color in his picture on the coloring page. Watch the video about Samuel the Lamanite and then sing along with the “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” Video.

Day 4: Micah Card and Song: Tie the Micah card on the mobile, and color the Micah figure on the coloring page. Explain that this scripture tells of where Jesus would be born. Sing along with a YouTube video of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Day 5: Adam Card and Retell: Tie the Adam card onto the mobile. There is no Adam figure on the coloring page. Explain that other prophets also foretold of Jesus’ birth. Have them color in the last prophet on the page, and then have them retell about the prophets and what each foretold about Jesus’ birth.

Day 6: Video: Watch the video “Chapter One: Elisabeth and Zacharias” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. I included the DVD in this bag. You could have popcorn in the bag instead of the DVD if you are watching it on LDS Media.

Day 7: Video and Mary and Angel Figures: Place Mary and the Angel on a wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library or on a table if using a child friendly nativity set. Watch Mary and the Angel Gabriel (video). (See more Cutouts below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Video and Joseph Figure: Watch the video “Chapter Four: Joseph and the Angel” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. Place Joseph on a table (or on a wall if using cutouts from LDS Media Library).

Day 9: Chocolate Coins: Using chocolate coins, discuss what taxes could be used for—roads, schools, etc. Set aside the tax coins and put them in bag or pocket #10 to enjoy tomorrow. (Chocolate coins can be purchased at party stores or in the party supply section at Walmart.)

Day 10: Chocolate Coin Taxes: Distribute and eat the chocolate coin taxes. Optional: Look up an online map of Israel from Jesus’ time period and point out all the cities people may have gone to be taxed.

Day 11: Maze Coloring Page: (Print a maze for each child.) Using a crayon, find the path to Bethlehem through the maze for Mary and Joseph.

Day 12: Stable and Video:  Watch half the video “Chapter Five: Jesus Christ is Born” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media library. Watch to the point where a stable is mentioned (pt. 37) then have a child place the stable on a table—or on the wall if using cutouts from LDS Media–and then put the figures of Mary and Joseph in the stable. (Click on the following image of a stable, save, and then print it the full size of the paper for the cutouts.)  

 

 

 

Day 13: Baby Jesus Figure and Song: Put the baby Jesus and manager in the stable (or on the wall) Sing the song “Away in a Manger.”  Sing along with a YouTube video or a Children’s Songbook recording.

Day 14: Window Picture: Print the picture of the earth and the picture of Jesus. Attach the front of the picture of Jesus to the back of the picture of the earth, or put both in a single page protector. Have the children hold the picture up to the light of a window or lamp. Explain that Jesus created the earth but was born humbly in a lowly stable.

Day 15: Shepherd Figures: Place the shepherds and sheep figures on the table or wall–but not in the manger.

Day 16: Angel Figure and Song: Place the angel on the table or wall near the shepherds. Watch and sing along with a YouTube video of “Stars were Gleaming.” (Verse One)

Day 17: Candy Canes: Place the shepherds and sheep in the stable. Candy Canes: Explain that shepherds carried hooked staffs in order to get sheep who had wandered off or needed help. Candy canes remind us of caring shepherds and of Jesus who is the Good Shepherd. Watch the second half of the video “Jesus Christ is Born.” (From pt. 47 to the end)(Children’s Songbook)

Day 18 Map and Wisemen Sticker: (Print the below map and the Wisemen sticker page.  Put the map in a page protector if planning to use it again. Cut out the Wisemen and make them into stickers or put tape of the back of them. Put one of the stickers in this bag.) Show the map to the children and explain that it is a map of the land of Israel where Jesus was born. Have a child decide where the East is on the map and then stick the Wisemen sticker onto that part of the map. (The map is from the LDS Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students Unit 7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 19: Wisemen Sticker and Marker: Have a child put the Wisemen sticker on the first place the Wisemen went looking for baby Jesus. Draw a dotted line between the two stickers with a marker or dry erase marker. Look at this painting of Jerusalem by James Tisset and discuss reasons the Wisemen thought the King of the Jews might be in Jerusalem.

Day 20: Scroll Activity: (Cut a a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Cut all the pieces in half widthwise. You should end up with 8 pieces of paper 5.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Write in the middle of one of the papers the word “Bethlehem.” Roll the papers into small scrolls–one per family member–and tie them with string or jute.)  Explain that Herod’s chief priests and scribes would have read the prophecies of Jesus’ birth on records made on scrolls. Have each family member choose a scroll from the bag or pocket. The person who finds the word “Bethlehem” will read it during the next day’s activity and place the next sticker. You may want to mention that when King Herod heard of the birth of a new king of the Jews,” he became alarmed because it threatened his rule as king.

Day 21: Wisemen Sticker: Have the family member read the scroll and then draw a dotted line from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and put the Wisemen sticker near Bethlehem.

Day 22: Star Activity: Decorate star cookies or decorate a star craft item such as these popsicle sticks stars or the below string threading activity, then hang the decorated star or star cutout over the manager scene.

 

 

 

 

Day 23: Wisemen Figures: Put the Wisemen figures in the nativity scene (or on the wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library).

Day 24: Retell the Story of Jesus’ Birth: If needed, review the story of Jesus’ birth by reading a storybook or watching “The Nativity” video. Then, using the Nativity figures or cutouts, have family members retell or act out the story of Jesus’ birth. Optional: Give a candy kiss or hug after each person’s response and input.

Day 25: Picture of Jesus and Song: Print an image of Jesus as an adult. See LDS Media Library or use the cutout. Show the picture and post it near the nativity. Optional: Sing along with a YouTube video of “Joy to the World.”

 

*Send me the pictures of the advent calendars you make so I can share the different ways it can be done.


Christmas: Songs

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“Make Room for Him” sheet music Sing along video

Music Video “God’s Christmas Gift” Sheet Music

Music Video “The Nativity” Sheet Music

Music Video “Our Christmas Story Tree” Sing before decorating tree.

Music Video “The Way to Bethlehem”  Sheet Music Four verses: 1. shepherds 2. wiseman 3. Mary and Joseph 4. stars and angels.

The Natvity Song Friend August 1980 Visual Aids

The Shepherds Carol   Teaching Ideas


Jesus Birth: Story

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Friend December 2017 “Jesus was Born in Bethlehem”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manual Cutouts

Primary Cutouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend December 2004  Flannel board figures

Friend December 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend December 1988 “Sharing Time: Two Witnesses of Jesus Birth” Read the skit as the silhouettes are pressed against a backlit piece of fabric or sheet. (Book of Mormon & Bible tell of Jesus’ birth.)

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Friend December 2015 Read each page and put the picture on the calendar that goes with it. Music  Music video  1. Lamp 2. Mary 3. Joseph 4. Journey 5. Inn 6. Stable 7. Shepherds 8. Baby Jesus 9. Wise men 10. Nativity Story
Friend December 2015

Friend December 2015

 

Friend December 2015 “The Nativity Story”

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Reenactment

Friend December 2017 “Skyler’s Nativity” Skyler helps with the nativity play. Also, count how many stars are in the sky.

 

 

Poems

Friend December 2001

Modern applications of “No Room at the Inn”

 


Christmas: Stories

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No Room at the Inn

Friend December 2017 “Matt and Mandy”  As Matt and Mandy’s family read about no room at the inn, Matt and Mandy learn that Jesus still waits for people to let him in.

 

 

 

 

Friend December 2017 “No Room In the Inn” Eliza and her family understand a little about what Mary and Joseph went through in Bethlehem when they can’t find a place to spend the night.

Symbols of Christmas
Star

Friend December 1987 “Christmas Stars” Jody wants to be like the Christmas   star and lead people to Jesus by being a good example.

Gifts

Friend December 2016 “You can’t Wrap a Horse” A family talks about gifts–gifts that can’t be wrapped like service and the gift of our Savior from Heavenly Father.

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Finding Jesus at Christmas

Friend December 2015 ” Making Room for Christmas” A family decides which Christmas activities are most important.

Friend December 2015image

Friend December 2015 “Finding Jesus at Christmas” Luke learns that drawing closer to Jesus is true happiness. Activity Idea also.

Friend December 2015

 

 

Friend December 1985 “The Answer Tree” A grandma put answers to her grandchild’s questions about Jesus onto tree ornaments. (activity idea)

 

 

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 Christmas Gift for Jesus

Friend December 1986 “A Christmas Gift For Jesus” A boy wants to get Jesus a gift, but he uses all his money to help others and learns that is the best gift.

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Thinking of Others at Christmas

Friend December 2017 “The Christmas List Surprise” Samantha makes a fancy Christmas list, but she learns to think of others when she sees her brother’s list.

 

 

 

 

Friend December 2017 “A Sister’s Gift” Emilie’s Family has no money for Christmas gifts. Emilie knows that that will be hard on her little sister, so she wraps up and gives her precious doll to her sister, and her heart is filled with warmth and love that Christmas .

 

 

 

 

Friend December 1980 -“Fish for Three” – A boy buys a Christmas feast for his family instead of something for himself.

Friend December 1980  – “Christmas Horse” – Girl spends her savings on Christmas for her family. She learns to think of others.

Friend December 1985 – “A Sharing Christmas” Rebus Story – Sue learns Christmas is much better when it is shared.

Friend December 1986 “Mommy’s Christmas” Justin helps his busy mom get ready for Christmas as a surprise.

Friend December 2015 A family who has very little gives to another family who has even less.

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Family at Christmas

Friend Dec 2014 “Matt and Mandy” 

Company for Christmas

Friend December 2017 “The Christmas Eve Guest” Shannon thinks it will be uncomfortable having a stranger join them for Christmas Eve, but as she gets to know the guest, she decides maybe it’s time to add a new tradition.

 

 

 

 

Friend December 1986 “Cousin Everene” Stephen learns how to enjoy having an elderly relative visit for Christmas.

Christmas Service

Friend December 2017 “Gabriel’s Cello” Gabriel played Christmas songs on his cello at a shopping center for tips to give to the food pantry to feed the homeless. (Includes photos)

Friend December 2016 “A Different Christmas” Christmas doesn’t feel right since Diego’s parents got divorced, but Diego brings joy back into Christmas by doing service.
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Giving Love at Christmas

Friend December 2016 “A Tree for Travis” Jacqueline feels sad for her friend who moved to a small trailer and doesn’t even have room for a Christmas tree. She thinks of an idea to give him a decorated branch, but it isn’t as nice as a tree. Her friend loves it, and Jacqueline realizes that gifts of love are what matters.

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Christmas Giving

Friend December 2016 “Matt and Mandy” Matt and Mandy learn there are lots of gifts we can give at Christmas that don’t cost money, like service.
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Friend December 2016 “The Getting Tree”  Tyler thought the tree at church was the “Getting Tree.” When he finds out that it’s the giving tree, he earns money to buy the toy and ends up “getting” a wonderful feeling.img_5655img_5657

 

 

 

 

Friend Dec 2014 “The Christmas Pony” Includes an activity idea and a coloring page

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Christmas Spirit Around the World

Friend December 1988 “The Sand Tree” Christmas doesn’t feel the same without snow, but Lynn and Jim discover the Christmas spirit is even in warm California.
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Christmas Tree

Sentimental
Friend December 2016 “Joel’s Family Christmas Tree” Each ornament is sentimental
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Jesus Birth: Activities & Games

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Friend December 2017 “Christmas Workshop” Make nativity figures such as this clothespin shepherd to tell the story of Jesus birth, or use it as an ornament for the tree.


 

 

 

Friend December 1986. Lace up ornaments. Print onto card stock. Punch holes in indicated spots. Lace up and tie ends together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend December 2016 “Make Your Own Ornament”

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Christmas Riddles  – Each riddle gives clues about a person or place related to the story of Jesus’ birth. (Friend December 1984)

Friend December 1981

Friend December 1981 Turn advent calendar into a game. See game pieces in “advent calendars”

Friend December 1982

Friend December 1982 – matching game

 

 

 

Questions for each day

Questions for each day

Friend December 2015 Activity- Hide baby Jesus Statue and tell children they are warm when they get close. Explain that the more we look for Jesus in our lives and do the things to get nearer to Him, the warmer we feel inside and the happier we are.”

Friend December 2015

 

Friend December 2015  Primary children collected food for a local food bank for the holidays. For each item donated, the children put a picture on the wall in the Primary room to build a Nativity scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Christmas: Advent Calendars

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Friend December 2017 “Light the World” Each day, read something that Jesus taught, and then think about how you can follow His teaching. Then color in the star!

 

 

 

 

Friend December 2016 “Watching For Jesus” Starting on December 1st, read the scriptures for each night. Then cut, fold, and tape the strip of paper down. On Christmas Eve you’ll see the sign that people everywhere saw on the night Jesus was born!

Friend December 2015 Read each page and put the picture on the calendar that goes with it. 1. Music video 2. Mary 3. Joseph 4. Journey 5. Inn 6. Stable 7. Shepherds 8. Baby Jesus 9. Wise men 10. Nativity Story
Friend December 2015

Friend December 2015

Friend December 1981

Friend December 1981

Friend December 1981

Friend December 1981

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Friend December 2014 Christmas around the world

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Friend December 2014

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Friend December 1988

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Friend December 1988

Friend December 1988

Friend December 1988

Friend December 1983

Friend December 1983 (1of 2)

Friend December 1983 (2of 2)

Friend December 1983 (2of 2)

Friend December 1984

Friend December 1984

Friend December 1984

Friend December 1984

Friend December 1984

Friend December 1984

 

Friend December 1985 – For each day in December, read one of the following scriptures, in the order given , and then find the matching picture to put on a calendar: Isaiah 7:14, 2 Nephi 25:19, Helaman 14:6, Micah 5:2, Moses 6:57, Luke 1:13,17, Luke 1:26-27 & 30-32, Matthew 1:20-21, Luke 2:1, Luke 2:3, Luke 2:4-5, Luke 2:6, Luke 2:7, John1:1,3,14, Luke 2:8, Luke 2:9-11, Luke 2:16, Matthew 2:1-2, Matthew 2:3, Matthew 2:4, Matthew 2:7-8, Matthew 2:9, Matthew 2:11, D&C 20:1, Isaiah 9:6
Friend December 1985

Friend December 1985

Friend December 1985

Friend December 1985

Friend December 1986

Friend December 1986

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Pocket Chart Ideas

Ideas for candy free advent calendars from Overstuffed . Includes service ideas, activity ideas, Christmas books, etc.