Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Teach The Children

HFPE activity, author unknown.

Gather the following items or clip art for the story: star, tree ornament, Christmas tree, bell, candy cane, wreath, holly wreath, gift

"Stars Were Gleaming"

D&C 88:77-78

Read the story below and have the children participate in holding up the items when they are mentioned in the story.

Just a day before Christmas I had a wonderful visitor. I had just finished my chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the living room. I opened the door and to my surprise, Santa Claus himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree!!

He placed his fingers over his lips so I would not shout out in excitement. "What are you doing?" I started to ask, but the words choked up in my throat as I saw Santa had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone...gone was the eager boisterous soul we all knew.

He then answered me with a simple statement of "Teach the Children." My perplexed expression still showed in the near darkness. "teach them the old meaning of Christmas...the meaning that now days has forgotten." I started to say, "How can I?" When Santa reached into the toy bag and pulled out a brilliant, shiny STAR. Teach the children the star was the heavenly sign of promise long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign that the promise had been fulfilled. It was the great star of the east. The star now reminds of us Gods love for all mankind. The countless shining stars at night-one for each man- now show the burning hope for mankind.

Santa gently laid the star on the fireplace mantle, and drew from the bag a glittering RED CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT. Teach the children red is the first color of Christmas. It was first used by faithful people to remind them of the blood that was shed for all people by the Savior. Christ gave his life and shed his blood that every man might have Gods gift to all, eternal life. Red is deep, intense, and is the greatest color of all. It is a symbol of the gift from God.

"Teach the Children," he said as he was twisting and pulling. Suddenly Santa dislodged a small CHRISTMAS TREE from the depths of the toy bag. He placed it before the mantle and gently hung the ornament on it. The deep green of the fir tree was a perfect background for the ornament. He said, "Here is the second color of Christmas. The color of the tree remains green all year round. This depicts the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful, and abundant color in nature. all needles point heavenward, symbolic of mans returning thoughts towards heaven. The great green tree has been mans best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed him, and made comfort of him."

Santa's eyes were beginning to twinkle no as he stood there. Suddenly I heard a soft tinkling sound. as it grew louder and louder it seemed like a sound from a long time ago. teach the children that the lost sheep are found by the sound of the BELL. The bell means guidance and return, and further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.

As the soft sound of the bell faded into the night, Santa drew forth a CANDLE. He placed it on the mantle, and the soft light from it's tiny flame caught a beautiful glow from around the darkened room. Santa whispered, "Teach the children that the candle shows mans thanks for the star of long ago. It's light is the mirror of starlight. Safety has now removed the candles from the tree, but lights replace them for remembrance."

Santa turned the small Christmas tree lights on and picked up a GIFT from under the tree. He pointed to the large bow ribbon and said, "A bow is placed upon the present to remind us of the brotherhood of man. we should remember that the bow is tied as man should be tied, all of us together with good will toward each other. Good will forever is the message of the bow."

Now my mind began to wander as to what else Santa might have in his bag. Instead of reaching in his bag, he slung it over his shoulder and began to reach up to the top of the Christmas tree. I thought he was hungry as he reached for a CANDY CANE placed high on the tree. "teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back the stayed sheep to the fold. The candy cane reminds us how we should be helping hands at Christmas time. The candy cane is a symbol that we are our brother's keepers."

Santa then paused: with all the work he had to do tomorrow, he seemed to realize that he should be on his way. But with a twinkle in his eye he pulled out one more thing. He reached into his bag and brought forth a HOLLY WREATH. He placed it on the door and said, "Please teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love; it never ceases, stops, or ends. It is made of many things and many colors. It should remind us of all the things of Christmas." As he disappeared up the chimney he said, "Good night, Merry Christmas, and remember, Teach the Children!"

Candy Canes
Hot Chocolate