Christmas Traditions that Point to Jesus (12-22-11)

As we Christians we are to be in the world, but not of the world… but not out of it either! Don’t run away from the so-called non Christian aspects of the Christmas season. Most of them can be used to point to Jesus.

 

The 12 Days of Christmas

This was a secret code used by the Catholics in England from 1558 until 1829 where they were not allowed to legally practice their faith.  So to preserve their teaching and doctrine and teach them to their children, someone wrote this carol as a catechism song.  It has a hidden meaning known only to the member of their church.  Each element has a code word for a religious reality which the children could then remember.

1 – A partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ
2 – Two turtle doves = Old and New Testaments
3 – Three french hens = Faith, Hope, and Love
4 – Four Calling Birds = 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
5 – Five golden rings = The Torah, or book of Law – first 5 books of the Old Testament
6 – Six Geese a Laying = 6 days of creation
7 – Seven swans a swimming = 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy
8 – Eight maids a milking = 8 beatitudes
9 – Nine ladies dancing = 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness,
Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control
10 – Ten lords a leaping = The 10 Commandments
11 – Eleven pipers piping = The 11 faithful disciples
12 – Twelve Drummers Drumming = 12 points of belief of the Apostles’ Creed

Do your kids know the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”? Its a fun song to sing as a family – everyone always belts out the “5 Golden Rings” part. Try teaching the meaning to the 12 days too – If your kids knew all 12 days – wow!

Web Links for Extra Training

History and Meaning of Christmas Lights
The History of the Candy Cane
The History and Meaning of Mistletoe
The History and Spirituality of Christmas

Families in Faith can come to you as a Free email resource. We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this site with others. You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.poplc.org/familiesinfaith

Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich

Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd – Springfield, VA 22152
©2011, all rights reserved

Teaching the Nativity (12-15-2011)

Getting the true Nativity story straight from the Bible.
Then looking into the major characters for a little background information.

Web sites about the Nativity

The Truth about the Nativity

The Shepherds and Sheep

A complete accurate look at the Nativity through a Question and Answer format

Family Traditions

Many family traditions grow out of the Advent and Christmas season. From advent wreaths, to decorating the Christmas tree. From holiday lights to advent calendars.

Develop the tradition of telling the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus. This will help get through the misconceptions and additions in the story of the birth of Jesus. On Christmas eve, gather the family around the Christmas tree, and have someone read the 3 Bible passages that tell us the story. From Matthew chapter 1, and Luke chapter 2 you get the story of Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds. In Matthew chapter 2 you get the story of the Magi.

You can do this is a quiet reading, with the lights low, and perhaps the candles from the advent wreath all lit. Or you can make a production out of it, having your kids dress up like the various characters and you be the narrator.

Families in Faith can come to your inbox as a Free email resource. We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others. You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.poplc.org/familiesinfaith

Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich

Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd – Springfield, VA 22152
©2011. all rights reserved

Advent Calendars and Wreaths (12-08-2011)

Advent is a season of preparation and expectation as we look forward to the Birth of Jesus and His eminent return.  Advent Calendars and Advent Wreaths are wonderful tools for families to use as they prepare their hearts, homes, and lives for Jesus.  Help your children keep the focus on Jesus as we count down to Christmas!

Web Sites – Advent Calendars and Advent Wreaths

The Meaning of the Advent Wreath

Web site with lots of Advent ideas from history to recipes to family activities. Its a few years old, so not all of the links work anymore – but it could help get the juices flowing for creative ideas.

Web site from Microsoft Office that teaches you how to create your own Advent Calendar.

Advent Wreath - Guide to Meaning

Just for Fun

The Nativity story set to "Bohemian Rhapsody"

A video where the Nativity Story is told by puppets singing to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”; they call it the “Bethlehemian Rhapsody.”

Online Advent Calendar Museum

Pictures and descriptions of Advent Calendars over the 150 year history.

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Families in Faith can come to your inbox as a Free email resource. We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others. You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.poplc.org/familiesinfaith

Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich

Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd – Springfield, VA 22152
©2011. all rights reserved