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Christmas

     

Write the words in capital letters on small cards and put on tables or around the room for people to decipher.

  • MISSTRACH = Christmas
  • RALSOC = Carols
  • NIERREED = Reindeer
  • TINGOCKS = Stocking
  • SLOBNALO = Balloons
  • NECIM SEPI = Mince Pies
  • LYOLH = Holly
  • GUDDNIP = Pudding
  • LESTIN = Tinsel
  • SHIGLT = Lights
  • TANAS SACLU = Santa Claus
  • SNIDERCOOT = Decorations
  • REET = Tree
  • LAGEN = Angel
  • DYNAC NECA = Candy Cane
  • SLEBL = Bells
  • LEDSANC = Candles
  • GILSEH =Sleigh
  • RENGAM = Manger
  • DRESSPEHH = Shepherds
   

The Christmas ange came to Bethehem. The shepherds ooked and traveed to the owy manger in the stabe where the baby ay in swadding cothes.

The Wise Men foowed the briiant ight of the star ti they finay arrived at the pace where Jesus ived. They were ate as King Herod hed them up and came trave is so sow.

The Wise Men were gad to aight from their cames and behod the gorious scene.

Noel! Noel! Noel!

   

Funny Fairy Story

Tell a well-known nursery story and fill in the missing words. First ask the listeners for words that describe something like, lazy, wet, smelly, happy, excited, nasty, foolish, dark, interesting, radical, stinky, sporty, ugly, good, naughty, cuddly, rude, fabulous, furry, soft, intellectual, horrible, ridiculous, crazy. Write the words on small slips of paper, place them face down, and pick one up at random to fit in the gaps. There are 40 gaps so try and get a lot of words chosen, although they can be used twice. The story of The Three Bears is used here, but you could try Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Three Pigs, and others. Or use a nursery rhyme like Humpty Dumpty.

Once upon a time there were 3 ... bears. They lived in a ... house near a ... supermarket. One day they came to the table for breakfast and found they had run out of cereal. Mother bear said, "We will go to the ... supermarket and buy some ... cereal. They put on their ... coats and off they went.

While they were away a ... boy came along on his ... skateboard. He did not look where he was going and crashed into the fence. He fell off his skateboard and hurt his ... knees. His knees were bleeding. He decided to ask for a bandaid at the ... house. There was no-one there so he went into the ... house and found a bandaid for his ... knees. Then he saw the breakfast table. It looked ... He was hungry so he sat at the table. First he sat in Father bear's ... chair. But it was too ... so he got up. Then he sat in Mother bear's ... chair. But it was too ... so he got up. Then he sat in Baby bear's ... chair. It was so lovely and ... that he sat there for a little while. But all of a sudden the ... chair broke with a crash.

The boy was tired so he went in to the bedroom for a rest. First he tried Father bear's ... bed. But it was too ... Then he tried mother bear's ... bed. But it was too ... Then he tried Baby bear's ... bed and it was so lovely and ... that he went straight off to sleep.

The 3 bears had finished at the ... supermarket so they came home with the shopping. They felt very ... They went in to the ... house. They went to the ... table and saw the dishes had been moved. They looked at their ... chairs. Father bear said Someone has been sitting in my chair. It is all ... Mother bear said Someone has been sitting in my chair. It is all ... Baby bear said Someone has been sitting in my ... chair and it is all broken.

Then they went to the bedroom. Father bear said Someone has been sleeping in my bed. It is all ... Mother bear said someone has been sleeping in my bed it is all ... Baby bear said someone has been sleeping in my ... bed and look there he is!

The boy woke up and saw three ... bears looking at him. He jumped out of bed and was just going to run out of the house when baby bear said Stop! Please stay and play with me. You are so ... I want you to be my friend. So the boy phoned his ... mother and asked her if he could stay, and he and baby bear were friends for ever.

   

People have to walk around the room, or dance, as the music plays, and step on to a piece of Christmas wrapping paper when the music stops. Pieces get removed and made smaller as the time goes on. They are out if they cannot find a piece of wrapping paper to stand on. More than one person can stand on a piece of paper as long as it is big enough to be seen round their foot.

 

People walk around the room to music. When music stops they must get into groups of 3 and sit on the chairs placed in threes. As time goes on chairs are removed, so people who do not get their threesome sitting down quickly will be out. There will be a lot of grabbing of partners.

   

Divide people into 2 teams. Each team has to sing the first line or two of a Christmas carol or song. No-one must repeat a song sung by the other team.

 

Sing the song of the Farmer's in the Dell, while walking round in a circle, holding hands. The second verse is The Farmer wants a wife. Third verse is The wife wants a child. Then The child wants a nurse. The nurse wants a dog. We all pat the dog. A child is chosen for each of those items, while the rest continue walking round them in a circle. For the verse We all pat the dog, everyone stops holding hands and walking around, and they all pat the person chosen to be the dog. This is better if it is an adult crouching down. Gentle patting if possible!

The farmer's in the dell, the farmer's in the dell, Hi, ho, the dairy oh, the farmer's in the dell.

The farmer wants a wife, the farmer wants a wife. Hi, ho, the dairy oh, the farmer wants a wife.

The wife wants a child, the wife wants a child. Hi, ho, the dairy oh, the wife wants a child. Etc.

   
  • Shoebox
  • Paper figures
  • Felt tip pens and crayons
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Blue cellophane 10cm square
  • Sticky tape
  • Craft knife, optional
  1. Cut a 6cm square hole in lid of shoebox and glue blue cellophane over hole on inside of lid.
  2. Cut a hole 8cm across and 4cm high at narrow end of shoebox. This is the peephole to look through.
  3. Colour figures and glue them to cardboard.
  4. Cut out figures including the square under each figure.
  5. Bend square underneath each figure.
  6. Arrange figures to stand at each side of the manger with animals behind. Place them at end furthest from peephole.
  7. Glue figures to base of shoebox. Add sticky tape for extra strength.
  8. Put lid on box with blue cellophane over figures. Sticky tape down securely.
  9. Hold box to light and look through peephole at manger scene.
  10. Box could be covered in wrapping paper to look more attractive. It may even become a Christmas heirloom!

This manger scene is quicker to colour in than the previous one.

The scene can be reduced in size to fit inside an empty tissue box if a shoe box is not available.

A more simple version of a manger scene, which could be used without the star.

 
  • Candles about 15cm or 6inches tall, white or red
  • Red tulle net fabric or crepe paper
  • Blue-tac
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Yoghurt container, washed
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • Cellotape
  • Rubber bands
  • Tinsel
  • Green leaves
  • Coloured stars, optional
  • Tray or polystyrene tray from supermarket food, optional

Basic idea:

Cut a piece of red net or crepe paper 50cm by 10cm. Stand the candle on a circle of cardboard 10cm across, sticking it with blue-tac. Frill the net or crepe paper to cover the cardboard. The candle could have little stars glued to it to add colour. Anchor the candle and cardboard to tray with blue-tac. A circle of green leaves round the cardboard complete the setting. This table setting is mainly for decoration, and not suitable for lighting unless watched carefully that the paper and net do not catch fire. More than one candle could be grouped together for a table setting on a tray.

Variation:

Glue a strip of Christmas wrapping paper round empty yoghurt container, making sure pattern is right way for when it is turned upside down. Poke a hole in bottom of container with scissors. Cut 8 little slits all round hole and gently push candle into it to form a stand for the candle.

Cut a piece of red net or crepe paper 1 metre by 10cm. Gather the net or paper in your fingers concertina-like, along the whole length of it and secure it round base of yoghurt container with a rubber band. Fluff out the net or paper around base and cover rubber band with a piece of tinsel. Glue tinsel to top of wrapping paper strip and around base of candle to conceal where it enters yoghurt container. The candle could have little stars glued to it to add colour. Yoghurt container may be secured to tray or table with blue-tac. Green leaves around it are optional. Due to fire risk of net and paper, candle is not suitable for lighting unless very carefully watched.

 
  • Plastic 'drinking glass'
  • Circle of net to fit top of glass
  • Pot-pouri bought at craft shop
  • Ribbon
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Fill glass with pot-pouri. Glue net to top of glass edge. Cover glue with ribbon. Pot-pouri could be scented wood shavings, or dried rose petals.

 
  • Thin pliable wire coat-hanger or wire
  • Plain white plastic grocery bags
  • Scissors
  • Decorations
  • Ribbon

Bend wire into a circle. Cut bags into strips 20cm by 10cm and tie on to wire. Hundreds of them are needed to fill wire. Trim and fluff out pieces of plastic. Decorate with red ribbon and ornaments. Tie ribbon or string at top to hang it by.

 

The Christmas Story

  • 9 pieces of A4 paper
  • Old Christmas cards with Biblical pictures on them
  • Stapler
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wallpaper or wrapping paper

Fold each page in half to form a book. Staple it. Put a cardboard cover round pages. On front page write title, The Story of the Birth of Jesus. Write the Christmas story using Bible verses, writing on only one side of the page. On the other side of the page glue a Christmas card, suitable to the verses written. Cover cardboard with attractive paper to complete the book. Pages can be photocopied if making several books. Take care to get pages in correct order.

 
  • What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

    • Claustrophobic.
  • Why did Santa spell Christmas N-O-E-?

    • Because the angel said, Noel.
  • What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmas time?

    • Sandy Claws.
  • Why does Santa have three gardens?

    • So he can hoe-hoe-hoe!
  • Why was Santa's little helper depressed?

    • Because he had low elf esteem.
  • What do elves learn in school?

    • The elfabet.
  • What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

    • Snowflakes.
  • What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

    • Frostbite.
  • What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?

    • Ribbon Hood.
  • What do you call a bunch of chess grandmasters bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?

    • Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
  • Do you know what would have happened if it had been three wise women instead of three wise men?

    • They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought practical gifts.

A woman said, 'I find it difficult to believe in all that stuff about Christmas. It's not that I don't believe in Peace and Goodwill to all men, or in the angels singing, or even in the virgin birth, but where on earth did they find 3 wise men?'

 

They sing of Christmas in the snow

  • Jingle bells and ho ho ho.
  • Of families sitting around the fire
  • And carollers singing in the choir.

Christmas here is always green.

  • Snow is never ever seen.
  • We don't rug up, it's way too hot.
  • Some go swimming quite a lot.

As Christmas time draws so near,

  • Why we rejoice is quite clear,
  • A babe was born in a stall.
  • So he could save us one and all.

Whether Christmas is green or white

  • A star did shine on that night.
  • Wisemen travelling far did bring
  • Gifts to place before their king.

That little babe was our Saviour

  • Who laid asleep in the manger
  • And through his unconditional love
  • We can live with him above.

-- Tracey Florence

 

It happened one day at the year's white end

  • Two neighbours called on an old time friend,
  • And they found his shop so meagre and mean
  • Made bright with a thousand boughs of green,
  • And Conrad was sitting with face ashine
  • When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine
  • And said, Old friends, at dawn today
  • When the rooster was crowing the night away,
  • The Lord appeared in a dream to me
  • And said, I am coming your guest to be.
  • So I've been busy with feet astir,
  • Strewing my shop with branches of fir.
  • The table is spread and the kettle is shined
  • And over the rafter the holly is twined.
  • And now I will wait for my Lord to appear,
  • And listen closely so I will hear
  • His step as He nears my humble place
  • And I open the door and look in His face.

So his friends went home and left Conrad alone

  • As this was the happiest day he had known,
  • For long since his family had all passed away
  • And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas day.
  • But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest
  • This Christmas would be the dearest and best.
  • So he listened with only joy in his heart
  • And with every sound he would rise with a start
  • And look for the Lord to be standing there
  • In answer to his real earnest prayer.
  • So he ran to the window on hearing a sound
  • But all that he saw on the snow covered ground
  • Was a shabby beggar with shoes outworn,
  • And all of his clothes were tattered and torn.
  • Then Conrad was touched and went to the door
  • And said, Your feet must be frozen and sore,
  • But I have some shoes in my shop just for you,
  • And a coat that will keep you much warmer too.

So with grateful heart the man went away.

  • But as Conrad noticed the time of day
  • He wondered what made the dear Lord so late,
  • And how much longer that he'd have to wait.
  • Then he heard a knock and ran to the door,
  • But it was only a stranger there once more.
  • A bent old woman with shawl of black,
  • And a bundle of sticks piled up on her back.
  • She asked only for a place to rest
  • But that was reserved for Conrad's great guest.
  • Then her voice seemed to plead, Don't send me away.
  • Let me rest for a while on this Christmas day.
  • So Conrad made soup and gave her a cup
  • And told her to sit at the table and sup.

Then after she left he was filled with dismay

  • For he saw that the hours were passing away,
  • And the Lord had not come, as he said he would,
  • And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.
  • When out of the stillness he heard a cry,
  • Please help me and tell me, where am I?
  • So again he opened his friendly door
  • And stood disappointed as twice before.
  • It was only a child who had wandered away
  • And was lost from his family that Christmas day.
  • Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad
  • But he knew he should make this little child glad.
  • So he called him in and wiped his tears
  • And quieted all his childish fears,
  • Then led him back to his home once more.

But as he entered his own darkened door

  • He knew that the Lord was not coming today,
  • For the hours of Christmas had all passed away.
  • So he went to his room and knelt down to pray
  • And he said, Dear Lord, why did you delay?
  • What kept you from coming to call on me,
  • For I so much wanted your face I could see?
  • When soft in the silence a voice he heard.
  • Lift up your head, for I kept my word.
  • Three times my shadow crossed your floor.
  • Three times I came to your lonely door.
  • For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet.
  • I was the woman you gave something to eat.
  • And I was the child on the homeless street.

-- Helen Steiner Rice

   

Represents shepherd's crook to keep sheep from straying. Reminds us we are our brother's keeper.

 

Rings out glad tidings of birth of Jesus. Also, sheep had a bell tied round neck so shepherd could hear where it was, and if in danger. Jesus always knows where we are and will help us when life gets difficult.

 

Remains green all year round and is a symbol of everlasting life.

 

Tied on gifts, shows we are all tied to each other with love as the family of mankind.

 

Remembers the gifts given to Jesus by the wise men, and the gift of everlasting life given to the whole world through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the gift of eternal life with our Heavenly Father available to us, if we so desire it, and keep His commandments.

 

Like the bright star that shone at the time of Jesus' birth. It may have been a coming together of Jupiter and Venus.

 

Its circle shape shows that, just like love, it has no end, and never stops.

 

Gives light to a dark world. Jesus is the Light of the world.

 

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. I had just finished the household chores late at night, and was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the living room. Much to my surprise, Santa Claus himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree, and whispered, "Shh. Don't be scared. It's all right."

I started to ask him what he was doing, but stopped in mid-sentence when I saw that his usual jolly manner was gone and he had tears in his eyes. He told me he was sad because children all over the world were not being taught the real meaning of Christmas.

He reached into his sack pulling out a small green Christmas tree. He said, "Teach the children that the evergreen tree remains green all the year round. Green is the colour of abundant nature around us and indicates the everlasting hope of mankind. God created trees to be of great service to people, providing wood to build homes, fires to keep us warm and to cook on, and paper to print books for us to learn from.

Santa reached into his sack again and pulled out a bright, shiny star, and said, "Teach the children the star was the heavenly sign of promise long years ago. God promised a Saviour for the world, and the star was a sign of the fulfilment of that promise. The countless shining stars in the night-sky still give us a reminder of that star so long ago telling of the birth of our Saviour.

Santa put the star on the top of the Christmas tree and took from his sack a glittering red ornament. He said, "Teach the children that red is the special colour of Christmas because it reminds us of the blood that was shed by our Saviour so that we could all gain Eternal Life, which is the greatest gift Heavenly Father can give us."

As Santa returned to his sack I heard a soft, tinkling sound and saw he had a bell in his hand. "Teach the children that in the old days animals were very valuable to people as they provided transport and food for them. They put a bell round the neck of each sheep or cow, so they could hear where they were if they got lost. In the same way God values all people, wherever they are, and they are never lost to Him. In some places church bells are rung on Christmas Day to proclaim the good news of this special day."

Once again Santa reached into his sack, and brought out a candle. "Teach the children that a candle was used in the old days to light the way so people could see where they were going. When it is dark we are afraid, but the light casts away our fears. Jesus came into the world and taught that He is the Light of the World. People used to put candles on Christmas trees, but nowadays we have coloured lights instead as they are safer."

Next Santa produced a candy cane. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. This was a strong stick with a curved end that could be placed around the neck of a sheep that had slipped down the hillside, so the shepherd could pull it up to safety. The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show to others, and reminds us that we really are our brother's keeper."

Reaching deep into his sack Santa pulled out a Christmas wreath and said, "Teach the children that the wreath symbolises the eternal nature of love. It never stops or comes to an end. It is one continuous round of affection. It is made up of many colours, and many different items, and shows how different we all are, but how important each one of us is to the whole creation."

Santa then took from his sack some tinsel and ribbon and said, "Teach the children that tinsel adds brightness to Christmas just as the many kindnesses we do for others brings brightness into their lives. The ribbon is tied into a bow to remind us that our lives are intertwined with each other, and the help we give others is constantly returned to us in different ways."

Finally, Santa patted his sack and said, "There will be many gifts in this sack each Christmas, but the greatest gift we can give, or be given, is love. Love takes time and effort from us to give to others in the way they need it, to bring their potential into being. Love is not an advertising gimmick, but something we learn to do, and we must teach this to our children."

With this, Santa waved goodbye and left the same way he had come in, saying as he went, "Don't forget to teach the children the real meaning of the symbols of Christmas." As I watched him go, I was sure that this would be the best Christmas ever.

-- Author Unknown.

 

There's a lovely little legend that I would like to tell, of the birth and death of Jesus found in this lovely shell.

If you examine closely you'll see that you find hers, four nail holes and a fifth one made by a Roman spear.

On one side the Easter lily...in the center is the star that appeareth to the shepherds and led them from afar.

The Christmas poinsettia is on the other side. Reminds us of His birthday...our happy Christmas tide.

Now break the center open and here you will release. the five white doves awaiting to spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol Christ left for you and me... to help us spread His gospel through all eternity.

-- Sister Hodson, July 2001 conference

 

'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house

  • Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
  • The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
  • In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
  • The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
  • While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
  • And Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
  • Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
  • When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
  • I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

  • Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
  • The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
  • Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
  • When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
  • But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer;
  • With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
  • I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.
  • More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
  • And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
  • "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
  • On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!
  • To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
  • Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

  • When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
  • So, up to the house-tops the coursers they flew,
  • With a sleigh full of toys, and Saint Nicholas too.
  • And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
  • the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

  • Down the chimney, Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
  • He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
  • And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
  • A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
  • And he looked like a peddlar just opening his pack.
  • His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
  • His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
  • His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
  • And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
  • The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
  • And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
  • He had a broad face and a little round belly
  • That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
  • He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
  • And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
  • A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
  • Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

  • And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
  • And laying his finger aside of his nose,
  • And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
  • He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
  • And away they all flew, like the down on a thistle.
  • But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
  • "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

-- Clement C. Moore

 

'Twas the night before solstice and all through the co-op

  • Not a creature was messing the calm status quo up.
  • The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
  • Dreaming of lentils and warm whole-grain breads.
  • We'd welcomed the winter that day after school
  • By dancing and drumming, and burning the Yule,
  • A more meaningful gesture to honour the planet
  • Than buying more trinkets for Mum or Aunt Janet,
  • Or choosing a tree just to murder and stump it,
  • And dress it all up like a seasonal strumpet.

My lifemate and I, having turned down the heat,

  • Slipped under the covers for a well-deserved sleep,
  • When from out on the lawn there came such a roar
  • I fell from my futon and rolled to the floor.
  • I crawled to the window and pulled back the latch,
  • And muttered, "Aw, where is that Neighbourhood Watch?"

I saw there below through the murk of the night

  • A sleigh and eight rendeer of non-standard height.
  • At the reins of that sleigh sat a mean-hearted knave
  • Who treated each deer like his personal slave.
  • I'd seen him before in some ads for car loans,
  • Plus fast food and soft drinks and cellular phones.
  • He must have cashed in from his mercantile chores,
  • Since self-satisfaction just ooozed from his pores.

He called each by name, as if he were right

  • To treat them like humans, entrenching his might:
  • "Now Donder, now Blitzen," and other such aliases,
  • Showing his true Euro-centrical biases.
  • With a snap of his fingers, away they all flew,
  • Like lumberjacks served with a plate of tofu.

Up to the roof-top they carried the sleigh.

  • (The holes in the shingles are there to this day.)
  • Out bounded the man, who went straight to the flue.
  • I knew in an instant just what I should do.

After donning my slippers, downstairs did I dash

  • To see this trespasser emerge from the ash.
  • His clothes were all covered with soot, but of course,
  • From our wood-fueled alternative energy source.
  • Through the grime I distinguished the make of his duds -
  • He was dressed all in fur, fairly dripping with blood.
  • "We're a cruelty-free house!" I proclaimed with such heat
  • He was startled and tripped on the logs at his feet.

He stood back up dazed, with mirth in his eyes.

  • It was then that I noticed his unhealthy size.
  • But that wasn't all to make sane persons choke:
  • In his teeth sat a pipe that was belching out smoke!
  • I could scarcely believe what invaded our house;
  • This carcinogenic and over-weight louse
  • Was so red in the face from his energy spent,
  • I expected a heart attack right there and then.

Behind him he toted a red velvet bag

  • Full to exploding with sinister swag.
  • He asked,"Where's your tree?" with a face somewhat long.
  • I said, "Out in the yard, which is where it belongs."
  • "But where will I put all the presents I've bought?"
  • I looked at him squarely and said, "Take the lot
  • To some frivolous people who think that they need
  • To succumb to the sickness of commerce and greed,
  • Whose only joy comes from the act of consuming,
  • Thus sending the stock of the retailers booming."

He blinked and said, "Ho, ho, ho,! But you're kidding!"

  • I gave him a stare that was stern and forbidding.
  • "Surely children need something with which to have fun?
  • It's like childhood's over before it's begun."

He looked in my eyes for some sign of assent,

  • But I strengthened my will and refused to relent.
  • "They have plenty of fun," I cut to the gist,
  • "And your mindless distractions have never been missed.
  • They take CPR so that they can save lives,
  • And go door-to-door for the used-clothing drives.
  • They re-cycle, renew, reuse - and reveal
  • For saving the planet a laudable zeal.
  • When they padlock themselves to a fence to protest
  • Against nuclear power, we think they're the best."

He said, "But they're children - lo, when do they play?"

  • I countered, "Is that why you've driven your sleigh,
  • To bring joy to the hearts of each child and tot?
  • All right, open your bag; let's see what you've got."

He sheepishly did as I'd asked and behold!

  • A Malibu Barbie in a skirt made of gold.
  • "You think that my girls will like playing with this,
  • An icon of sexist, consumerist kitsch?
  • With its unnatural figure and airheaded grin,
  • This trollop makes every girl yearn to be thin,
  • And take up fad diets and binging and purging
  • Instead of respecting her own body's urging
  • To welcome the shape that her body has found
  • And rejoice to be lanky, short, skinny or round."

Deep in his satchel he searched for a toy,

  • Saying, "This is a hit with most little boys."
  • And what did he put in my trembling hand
  • But a gun from the BrainBlasters Power Command!
  • "It's a 'hit,' to be sure," I sneered in his face,
  • "And a plague to infect the whole human race!
  • How about grenades or some working bazookas
  • To turn all of our kids into half-wit palookas?"

I seized on his bag just to see for myself

  • The filth being spread by this odious elf.
  • An Easy-Bake Oven - ah, goddess, what perfidy!
  • To hoodwink young girls into household captivity!

Plus an archery play set with shafts that fly out,

  • The very thing needed, to put your eye out.
  • And toy metal tractors, steam shovels, and cranes
  • For tearing down woodlands and scarring the plains,
  • Plus "games" like Monopoly, Pay Day, Tycoon,
  • As if lessons in greed can't start up too soon.
  • And even more weapons from BrainBlasters Co.,
  • Like cannons and nunchucks and ray guns that glow.

That's all I could find in his red velvet sack -

  • Perverseness and mayhem to set us all back.
  • (But I did find one book that caused me to ponder -
  • Some fine bedtime tales by a fellow named Garner.)
  • "We need none of this," I announced in a huff,
  • "No 'business-as-usual' holiday stuff.
  • We sow in our offspring more virtue than this.
  • Your 'toys' offer some things they never will miss."

The big man's expression was a trifle bereaved

  • As he shouldered his pack and got ready to leave.
  • "I pity the kids who grow up around here,
  • Who're never permitted to be of good cheer.
  • Who aren't allowed leisure for leisure's own sake,
  • But must fret every minute - it makes my heart break!"

"Enough histrionics! Don't pity our kids

  • If they don't do as Macy's or Toys 'R' Us bids.
  • They live by their principles first and foremost
  • And know what's important," to him did I boast.

"Pray, could I meet them?" "Oh no, they're not here.

  • They're up on the roof, liberating your deer!"
  • Then Santa sputtered and pointed his finger
  • But, mad as he was, he had no time to linger.
  • He flew up on the chimney like smoke from a fire,
  • And up on the roof I heard voices get higher.

I ran outside the co-op to see him react

  • To my children's responsible, kind-hearted act.
  • He chased them away, and disheartened, dismayed,
  • He re-hitched his reindeer (who'd docilely stayed).
  • I watched with delight as he scooted of then.
  • He'd be too embarrassed to come back again.

But with parting disdain, do you know what he said,

  • When this overweight huckster took off in his sled?
  • This reindeer enslaver, this exploiter of elves?
  • "Happy Christmas to all, but get over yourselves!"

-- James Finn Garne

 

The Songs And Story Of Christmas

   
  • Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
  • Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
  • Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
  • Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
  • Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
  • Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
 

Once in royal David's city

  • Stood a lowly cattle shed,
  • Where a mother laid her baby
  • In a manger for his bed:
  • Mary was that mother mild
  • Jesus Christ her little child.
 
  • Luke 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
  • Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
  • Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie

  • Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
  • Yet in the dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
  • The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
 
  • Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
  • Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

  • The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
  • The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
  • The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

  • But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
  • I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
  • And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

  • Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
  • Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
  • And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.
 
  • Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
  • Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 

While Shepherds watch their flocks by night

  • All seated on the ground
  • The angel of the Lord came down
  • And glory shone arond
  • "Fear not," said he for mighty dread
  • had seized their troubled mind
  • "Glad tidings of great joy I bring
  • To you and all man-kind"

"To you in David's town this day

  • Is born of David's line
  • The Savior who is Christ the Lord
  • And this shall me the sign
  • The heav'n'ly babe you there shall find
  • To human view displayed
  • All meanly wrapped in swathing bands
  • And in a manger laid"

Those spoke the seraph and forth-with

  • Appeared a shining throng
  • Of angels praising God who thus
  • Addressed their joyful song
  • "All glory be to God on high
  • And on the earth be peace
  • Goodwill hence-forth from heav'n to men
  • Begin and never cease"
 
  • Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
  • Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
  • Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 

It came upon the midnight clear,

  • That glorious song of old,
  • From angels bending near the earth
  • To touch their harps of gold!
  • "Peace on the earth, good will to men,
  • From heaven's all gracious King!
  • The world in solemn stillness lay
  • To hear the angels sing.
 
  • Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
  • Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 

Angels We Have Heard On High

  • Angels we have heard on high,
  • Sweetly singing o'er the plains
  • And the mountains in reply
  • Echoing their joyous strains. Gloria:

Chorus:

  • Gloria, In Excelsius Deo
 
  • Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
  • Luke 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 

Hark! the herald angels sing, -

  • "Glory to the newborn King!
  • Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
  • God and sinners reconciled."
  • Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
  • Join the triumph of the skies;
  • With th' angelic host proclaim,
  • "Christ is born in Bethlehem."
  • Hark! the herald angels sing,
  • "Glory to the newborn King!
 
  • Luke 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
  • Luke 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 

The first Noel, the angel did say,

  • Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
  • In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
  • On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
  • Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
  • Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star

  • Shining in the East, beyond them far;
  • And to the earth it gave great light,
  • And so it continued both day and night.
  • Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
  • Born is the King of Israel.
 
  • Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
  • Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
 

Silent night, holy night!

  • All is calm, all is bright.
  • Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
  • Holy infant so tender and mild,
  • Sleep in heavenly peace,
  • Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!

  • Shepherds quake at the sight.
  • Glories stream from heaven afar
  • Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
  • Christ the Savior is born!
  • Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!

  • Son of God love's pure light.
  • Radiant beams from Thy holy face
  • With dawn of redeeming grace,
  • Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
  • Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
 
  • Matt 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
  • Matt 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
 

With wondering awe the wisemen saw

  • The star in heaven springing
  • And with delight in peaceful night
  • They heard the angels singing

Hosana, Hosana,

  • Hosana to his name

By light of star they traveled far

  • To seek the lowly manger
  • A humble bed wherein was laid
  • The wonderous little Stranger

Hosana, Hosana,

  • Hosana to his name
 
  • Matt 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
  • Matt 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
  • Matt 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
  • Matt 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
 

Far, Far away on Judea's Plains

  • Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains

Glory to God. Glory to God

  • Glory to God in the highest
  • Peace on earth, good will to men
  • Peace on earth, good will to men!
 
  • Matt 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
  • Matt 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
 

O come, all ye faithful,

  • Joyful and triumphant,
  • O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
  • Come and behold Him,
  • Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him,

  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • Christ the Lord.

Sing, alleluia,

  • All ye choirs of angels;
  • O sing, all ye blissful ones of heav'n above.
  • Glory to God -
  • In the highest glory!

O come, let us adore Him,

  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,

  • Born this happy morning;
  • Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv'n;
  • Word of the Father,
  • Now in the flesh appearing,

O come, let us adore Him,

  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • O come, let us adore Him,
  • Christ the Lord.
 
  • Matt 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
  • Matt 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
 

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;

  • Let earth receive her King;
  • Let every heart prepare Him room,
  • and heaven and nature sing,
  • and heaven and nature sing,
  • and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
 
  • Matt 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
  • Matt 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
 

I heard the bells on Christmas day

  • Their old familiar carols play
  • And mild and sweet the words repeat,
  • Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,

  • The belfries of all Christendom
  • Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
  • Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bow'd my head:

  • "There is no peace on earth," I said,
  • "For hate is strong, and mocks the song
  • Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

  • "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
  • The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
  • With peace on earth, good will to men."

'Til ringing, singing on its way,

  • The world revolved from night to day,
  • A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
  • Of peace on earth, good will to men!
 
 

Take inexpensive or home-made gifts to a neighbour or relative each day for 12 days leading up to Christmas. Choose someone who you can get to easily each day. The gifts could be left anonymously, but this becomes more difficult each day. Also remember, people like to have something to look forward to, and someone there to share their happiness with.

Use nuts, marshmallows, lollies, lollipops, biscuits, cakes or muffins, caramel popcorn balls, party poppers, soap, balloons, candy canes, gold chocolate coins, sticky tape, cheap toilet rolls, apples, tomatoes, tiny angels made from lollies, nightlight candles trimmed with tinsel. A wreath made from plain white plastic grocery bags woven around wire frame, with tinsel woven round that and decorated with lollies, or pompoms. Mini Christmas puddings made from mallowpuffs. Small bags of washing powder.

Here are two different versions, the second is slightly less expensive than the first. After that are some ideas for rhymes with blanks left for the number and the gift to be filled in. Obviously, the size of the gift may vary if given to a family instead of a person on their own.

 
  • On the first day of Christmas I've often heard it said

    • It's nice to give someone you love a loaf of homemade bread.
  • On the second day of Christmas two rolls of sticky tape,

    • To help you wrap your Christmas gifts for that extra special mate!
  • On the third day of Christmas three packages of jello -

    • The light dessert, the bright dessert, red, green and yellow.
  • It's the fourth day of Christmas and I bet you thought we'd miss you

    • We didn't though, and here you have four rolls of bathroom tissue.
  • On the fifth day of Christmas five treats of sugar sweet.

    • We hope that you will soon enjoy the taste that can't be beat.
  • On the sixth day of Christmas with six more left to go.

    • Take time to trim the Christmas tree and hang some mistletoe.
    • We're sure by now you need a break so have a nice cool drink.
    • Six cans of fizz is sure to help, at least that's what we think!
  • For the seventh day of Christmas we wondered what to do,

    • But then we found these apples and we're giving them to you.
  • On the eighth day of Christmas we're nearly out of rhyme.

    • But there's eight nice cookies to enhance your Christmas tree.
  • On the ninth day of Christmas we know you're on the run.

    • So we want you to stop, relax, and have a chew of gum.
  • On the tenth day of Christmas, ten eggs (not quite a dozen).

    • To scramble, fry, or use in baking or any way you love them.
  • On the eleventh day of Christmas it was hard to choose

    • But by giving you eleven candy canes we felt we could not lose.
  • On the twelfth day of Christmas, twelve fruits you'll find in here.

    • Sent with love and the hope that we've brought a touch of cheer.
  • And as a final note we add,

    • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 
  • On the first day of Christmas, it's the day marked number one,

    • I brought to help you celebrate, a sticky currant bun.
  • On the second day of Christmas the rushing never stops,

    • So stop and sit a little while with these two lollipops.
  • On the third day of Christmas I popped in for a natter

    • And brought with me three little cakes upon a paper platter.
  • On the fourth day of Christmas you might have thought I'd miss you.

    • I didn't though, and here you have four rolls of bathroom tissue.
  • On the fifth day of Christmas five marshmallows so sweet.

    • We hope that you will soon enjoy the taste that can't be beat.
  • On the sixth day of Christmas, it will soon be Christmas night,

    • We give you six white candles to put you in the light.
  • On the seventh day of Christmas, good wishes we are sending,

    • With seven little chocolate coins to help you slow your spending.
  • On the eighth day of Christmas, with Santa coming soon,

    • We've brought you eight nice bright balloons to decorate your room.
  • On the ninth day of Christmas we know you're on the run.

    • So we want you to slow right down and have a chew of gum.
  • On the tenth day of Christmas this rhyme is near its end,

    • Along with ten sweet angels which from us to you we send.
  • On the eleventh day of Christmas it was getting hard to choose

    • But with eleven candy canes we felt we could not lose.
  • On the twelfth day of Christmas we cannot write much more

    • So send a wreath with twelve pompoms to brighten up your door.
 
  • On the * day of Christmas I thought I'd come and bring

      • bits of *** to help you want to sing.
  • On the * day of Christmas we know you're on the run,

    • But hope these * things will help you have some fun.
  • On the * day of Christmas, we're nearly out of rhyme,

    • But here are * little things to help you pass the time.
  • On the * day of Christmas there are lots of different wishes,

    • But here's * mini-bags of soapsuds to help you with your washes.
  • On the * day of Christmas, well, well, how time does fly,

    • So here are * little *** that you'll eat/use by and by.
  • On the * day of Christmas this rhyme is near its end,

    • Along with these * things which from us to you we send.

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