Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FHE Ideas for December and Fun Christ-centered Activities

Last night at Relief Society, I was asked to come up with family home evening ideas and activities that are centered around Christ.  (For those who aren't Mormon, Family Home Evening is a time every Monday night set aside for families to learn and do activities together.  It's not mandatory, but a good idea to keep families close).  Christmas is a wonderful time and it's great to see the magic in it!  Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph are definitely things that kids should be excited about.  But often with the commercialism of Christmas, we forget about the real meaning - that Christ was born on the earth.  So I came up with some ideas and activities that you can do with your family throughout the month to help them also remember Christ's birth and how to come closer to Christ.  So here's what I came up with!


Family Home Evening/Family Activities


1. Nativity Role Play
                Let each person in the family be a different person in the story of the Nativity.  Take a few minutes to make costumes and dress up.  End the activity with a Nativity coloring page.  Have the children go over who each person is in the scene.  Here’s a website to a cute poem of the nativity that children can act out: http://www.dltk-bible.com/christmas_play.htm.  For some coloring pages: http://www.coloring.ws/nativity.htm.

2. Movie and Cookies
Watch the Nativity, Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, or Nora’s Christmas.  Talk about the importance and message of the movies and how we can be more like Christ during the Christmas season.   Then make cookies to give to neighbors.  You can even sing a little carol when you take the goodies to the door.

3. Lights on Temple Square
                Before leaving for the temple at home or even in the car, read the last few paragraphs of “The Savior Lives” by Elder Nelson (found in the December 2011 Ensign).  Elder Nelson says our greatest gift to Christ is to be worthy to go to the temple.  Discuss this with your children and spouse.  Enjoy the lights as a family on Temple Square.  It might be a fun activity to have the children point out when they see pictures or statues of Christ. 

4. Christmas Book
                Read your favorite Christmas Book to your family.  As you read, have the children predict what will happen, tell how they feel as the book goes on, and ask them how the book connects to them.  Have the children draw their favorite character in the book.  You can also sing The Nativity Song on Page 52 in the Children’s Songbook.

5. Bible Story
                Read the actual story of Christ’s birth from the Bible found in Luke.  Discuss with your family the different things they hear and feel and what it would be like to have been there when Christ was born.  Talk as a family about how you can all be more like Christ especially this Christmas.

6. Secret Acts of Service
                Set a goal as a family to do secret acts of service for your spouse, family members, or friends throughout the week.  For FHE talk with them about how you felt to serve, the importance of service and how that brings us closer to Christ.

Other Fun Christmas Activities

·         - Have a small wooden manger and have family members place piece of hay in the bed when they do a good deed.
·        -  Do an advent calendar that’s based on the Nativity.
·         - Sing Christmas carols at a retirement home, nursing home, or around your neighborhood.
·         - Buy gifts for those in need.  You can have your children pick out the gifts.  You can also donate to Toys for Tots.
·        - Work in a Soup Kitchen

Christmas Book Advent Calendar

And then I saw this on a blog not too long ago and thought it was such a great idea!  I looked up some books for you that are more Christ-centered rather than focusing on Santa, etc.  But those are great books too so you can definitely throw those in.  You can also just read short stories and poems each day if you don't have a lot of Christmas books.  

Wrap each book with wrapping paper and number them or let your children choose which book.  Then let them unwrap it and read that story.  Do this each day until Christmas for 25 days or do 12 days of Christmas.

1. The Tale of Three Trees – Angela Elwell Hunt
2. Christmas Oranges – Linda Bethers
3. The Christmas Candle - Richard Paul Evans
4. Beyond Bethlehem: The Book of Mormon Christmas Story – David Bowman
5. My First Story of the First Christmas – Deanna Draper Buck
6. Little Drummer Boy – David Mead
7. Little One – Pamela Reid
8. The Crippled Lamb – Max Lucado
9. The Legend of the Candy Cane – Lori Walburg
10. Three Presents for Baby Jesus – Joanne Bader
11. The Best Thing About Christmas – Christine Tangvald
12. The Legend of the Christmas Tree – Rick Osborne
13. ‘Twas the Night: The Nativity Story – Melody Carlson
14. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Suess
15. The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
16. Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet Ahlburg
17. The Snowman – Raymond Briggs
18. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey - Susan Wojciechowski 
19. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Charles Schulz
20. Bear Stays Up for Christmas – Karma Wilson


Photo found at Skip to My Lou.

At The Inspiration Thief, they also give great ideas on how to get a hold of books if you don't have very many.

And I'm also the featured blogger over at Pocket Full of Pink!  I highlighted some of the best things from my blog if you want to check it out!





- Alexis

4 comments:

  1. Great ideas. We're working on this in our family too. We're going to have an extra fast this month. My hubby gave each kid $20. They have to give $5 back for each thing they eat before noon on Sunday. (so basically they're missing breakfast) If everyone can do it, we will have $100. Monday night for FHE, each kid will get to spend the money at the grocery store and then will donate it to the food bank.

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  2. I love your cute blog! Always the best stuff on here, even my mom mentioned it on the phone today! She said, "Alexis Lohrke (oh wait, what's her last name now, I forgot for a second?...Oh right, Tanner!!) has the cutest blog!! I'm so proud of her, she's such a great girl!" We love you! Keep posting :)

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  3. Great ideas!! Thanks for linking up at {Junk in their Trunk}! Merry Christmas!

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  4. A great Idea is to get a nativity and tape scriptures on the bottom underneath each piece (Scriptures of the Nativity). Then hand out the pieces and have everyone read the verse than place their piece in the middle. Everyone does this until all the pieces are together and the Christmas story is read. Then you could watch "the nativity," with the song "breath of heaven." http://youtu.be/Mhwisp6OkiE

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I would love to hear what you think!