The Christmas Star
The Christmas Star: A heavenly sign that the wise men were able to follow to find the birth place of Jesus
“Teach the children that the star is the heavenly sign of promise,” he said. “God sent a Savior to the world and the star was the sign of that promise being fulfilled. The countless shining stars in the heavens, one star for each person on earth, represents the hope of all mankind.” (A quote from the story, Teach the Children the True Meaning of Christmas)
Matthew 2:2b “We saw His star when it rose and have come
to worship Him.”
Matthew 2:9 “After they had heard the king, they went on their way,
and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them
until it stopped over the place where the child was.”
The Christmas Star and the Christmas Angel would take turns setting on the top of our Christmas tree. To me, both are important because each one announced the birth of God’s Son. Here are some different activities to use during this blessed holiday season as you remember the real reason for the season.
A Shining Star
On the very first Christmas night,
(Put hands together; lay head on hands as if sleeping.)
A wondrous star shone big and bright.
(Hold hands above head; move fingers like stars shining.)
It marked the spot where the baby lay,
(Pretend to rock baby.)
So kings and shepherds could come to pray.
(Fold hands and kneel.)
– Original Author Unknown
Cinnamon ornaments were something that I made with my children when they were younger. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas we would make ornaments to give to family and friends as presents. They were always a big hit. This is a wonderful gift that also makes your house smell delicious. I am using the recipe from allrecipes.com because I have no idea where my recipe has gone.
1 cup ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons glue
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix in the applesauce and glue. Work the mixture with your hands 2 to 3 minutes to form a ball. If mixture is too wet, add more cinnamon. If mixture is too dry, add more applesauce.
2. Lightly dust a clean surface with cinnamon. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and use a toothpick or straw to make a hole at the top for hanging with a ribbon.
3. Dry in a slow oven 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) for several hours, or air dry in a sunny spot for 4 or 5 days. When dry, decorate with gingham and/ or ribbon.
I have created a lot of popsicle crafts in my time and enjoyed every one. This would be a good one if you have children of different ages. The older ones can create the stars and the younger ones can paint them and add sparkles or buttons to give it a little extra “shine”. Although I’m sure that some of the older children will want to add their own artistic touches to the stars. (This craft came from kaboose.com)
• 10 Popsicle sticks, coloured or plain
• Hot glue gun or ordinary glue
• Length of fishing line
• Paint or markers, glitter, etc.
1. Draw up a template of a star using craft sticks.
2. Place one stick inside one line then add some glue to the top. Position second stick on this.
3. Continue step 2 until all 10 sticks are in place.
4. Attach some fishing line to one point for hanging.
5. Decorate as desired. Using the colors yellow, gold, red and green make for a great Christmas star. Try different colors for theme parties, or use glow-in-the-dark paint for a magical bedroom at night.
Homemade Paper Stars
I recently found this ornament on the Family Fun website. I have never done this craft before but I can’t wait until my great-niece, nephews and grandkids are old enough to do this with them. It looks like it could get messy but sometimes messy is half the fun.
• 3 (9- by 12-inch) sheets of construction paper
• Very hot water
• Folded cloth towel
• 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter
• Baking sheet
• Ribbon loops
1. Tear 3 (9- by 12-inch) sheets of construction paper into small pieces, about the size of a domino, and place them in a blender. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of very hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile put a folded cloth towel on a plate, add a paper towel and top with a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter.
2. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pulse the blender until the mix is pulpy, about 30 seconds. Ina sieve set over the sink, drain the pulp, then spoon some into the cookie cutter to the top, taking care to fill the points. Sprinkle with glitter. Use a rag to press the pulp down into the cookie cutter until most of the water is gone, then gently push the star out onto a baking sheet. Repeat to make two more stars.
3. Bake them for 2 hours or until the moisture has evaporated (they should be firm and lightweight). Let the stars cool, the glue ribbon loops to the backs for hanging. Makes 3 stars.
Here are a couple of healthier alternatives to cookies, as you are making crafts and reading books together.
Crispy Cheese Stars from FamilyFun.com
I love cheese so these look extra yummy to me.
• Flour tortillas
• Sliced cheese (cheddar, provolone, or mozzarella)
• Chili powder or paprika
1. Heat the oven to 350º. Use the larger cookie cutter to cut out stars from flour tortillas (about 5 per 10-inch tortilla). It’s easy for kids to do if you use a rolling pin to roll back and forth over the cutter. Bake the stars on a foil-covered cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
2. Use the smaller cookie cutter to cut out an equal number of cheese stars from the sliced cheese and place them atop the tortilla ones. Bake the stars for 2 more minutes or so until the cheese melts.
3. Sprinkle the stars with chili powder or paprika and let them cool before serving.
Star Fruit – A little fruit with your cheese is always a good thing.
The Christmas Star Book & Advent Calendar by Marcus Pfister
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 8
Here is another great book from the author of “The Rainbow Fish”. The sparkling silver stars add so much to the illustrations. A wonderful story of how the shepherds, the Wise Men and even the animals followed the star to Bethlehem, where they welcomed the Holy Child.
Small Camel Follows the Star by Rachel W.N. Brown
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 8 yrs old
This is a sweet story of Small Camel’s first trip across the desert. It is a special trip to follow the, much sought after, star that leads the wise men to Bethlehem. Under the star they find the young King, in a very simple house. I love that this story in Biblically correct, in the fact that the wise men find the baby King, a few months later, in a house. (Matthew 2: 1- 12)
Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 8
I love the way this story describes how all of creation was anticipating the arrival of our Savior. It talks of how the trees, the flowers and the animals were crying out, “It’s time. It’s time,” as the birth of Jesus drew near. This was a very different way to look at the Nativity scene. No shepherd, no wise men but all of creation celebrating: “Heaven’s Son sleeping under the stars that He made.”
The Santa Claus Debate
The True Meaning of Christmas
Christmas Angels to Laugh and Learn With
Love to Learn About the Nativity
Love to Learn the Meaning of Candy Canes for Christmas
Review – Christmas on Monument Circle, Indianapolis