Tape two pieces of brown construction paper together, narrow ends together. On opposite side, draw an outline of a tree trunk and branches. Cut out with scissors. Use black sharpie marker to outline edges of tree trunk and branches. Attach to prominent wall, window or bulletin board. Cut assortment of construction paper into simple leaf shapes. During Thanksgiving Day (or the week before Thanksgiving), encourage all family members to write on the leaves things for which they are thankful and tape the leaves on the tree.
For Younger Children: Encourage them to find pictures in the magazines of things for which they are thankful. Demonstrate how to cut/tear a picture and glue it on a leaf and tape the leaf to the tree.
Be sure to take a picture of the tree for the children's scrapbook or for a Thanksgiving record. I like to get the children in the picture, too.
We give each child three gifts, symbolizing the three gifts of the magi.
- We print out a small re-telling of the Legend of the Candy Cane and tie to small candy cane with a small piece of ribbon. We then carry the candy canes with us wherever we go (shopping, museum, etc.), and give them to people we meet, store clerks, wait staff, bank clerks or anyone else who could use a bit of Christmas love.
- Each year, we wait to get our first candy cane when we get our Christmas tree.
As we put up the tree, we talk about what the various ornaments that we're placing on the tree have to do with Christmas. It's proven rather challenging with some of our ornaments, causing us to evaluate why we include the things we do in our Christmas celebration. Of course, some ornaments are just fun and that's OK, too. I'm quite sure Jesus was a fun guy to be around when he walked this earth. Other ornaments we include in our celebration to remind us of special people and those people, we know, Jesus loved them, too.
The Wise Men / Magi
Since the Bible speaks of the Magi visiting Jesus not in the stable, but in a house, in our nativity scenes we place the Magi en route to see the baby, not arrived at the stable.
see also: Christmas Resource Sheet
Easter Story Eggs -- an external link to Annie's Home Page, a great Christian website
The real meaning of Easter found in a basket with plastic eggs. Inside each of twelve eggs is an object that reminds us of Jesus and a scripture passage. Because this is a homemade version, I like this one much better than the purchased ones.
A very nice family tradition for older children and adults starting on Palm Sunday. Suitable for a family devotional time. Each day includes a theme, scripture and discussion question.
To be made the night before Easter. Make these tasty cookies and tell the story of Easter. It's a fun recipe and a hands-on way to teach children about Jesus.
A simple project, great for younger children. Great with lunch after church.
Tell the story of Easter with a favorite spring candy. Attach a card to The Beans with the following:
Green is for the palms that they waved at Him as He entered into Jerusalem.
Purple is for the wine He poured and blessed before He faced His final test.
Red is for the precious blood He shed from the crown of thorns placed on His head.
Black is for the sky as He died on the cross, suffering to redeem our loss.
Pink, Yellow, and Orange are for the dawn that morning -- when the tomb was empty.
White is for the dazzling light that awed all who saw Him arise.
As you savor the flavor of each jelly bean gives, may its sweetness remind you...
Jesus Christ Lives! ALLELUIA!