A Fun “12-Days ’til Christmas” Countdown Activity!

0-3Have fun making a 12-Chain Link Christmas Countdown that creates the story of Jesus and has a question each day!

  1. Turn a paper sideways and cut 12 strips, or “chain links”, each one about 2” wide.
  2. Print out 12 parts to the story of Jesus that are at the bottom of this post. (It’s easier if you copy and paste them onto a Word document and then print them).
  3. Then, cut the story sentence strips out (MT 1, LK 1-2).
  4. Glue each sentence strip onto a colored “chain link”. On the opposite side, write what number it is to keep them in the correct order when you staple them together.
  5. Make a circle with sentence strip #12 and staple it closed.
  6. Weave sentence strip #11 through #12, and then staple it closed. Do this with all the “chain links” to make the “Chain Link Christmas Countdown”!
  7. Hang it on the wall, with #1 at the top. 0-1
  8. Each day, remove a chain link and read the story and answer the question. Then, tape it on the wall. If you start this countdown late, just pull several off in one day to catch up. On Christmas, you will have the 12 parts of the story of Jesus on the wall! Have fun reading it and see if your children can tell the story from memory, or even act it out!

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STORY SENTENCE STRIPS:

  1. Mary was engaged to Joseph, a righteous man. They would soon be married! (What do you think Joseph liked about Mary?)

 

  1. Gabriel, the shining angel, appeared to Mary in Nazareth announcing, “Greetings, you, who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Why do you think God was pleased with Mary?)

 

  1. Mary was scared when she saw the angel, but he said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.” (So, why didn’t Mary need to be afraid?)

 

  1. The angel said, “You will give birth to a son and you are to name him Jesus (which means Savior) … for nothing is impossible with God.” (Why do you think the Son of God is named Jesus?)

 

  1. Mary knew it was an honor to carry God’s Son and said, “I am the Lord’s follower. May it be to me as you have said.” (How did Mary put God first? Do you think Mary was nervous at all or just excited?)

 

  1. Mary hurried to Elizabeth’s home and shared the exciting news. Mary said, “… the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.” (How did Mary show her gratefulness to the Lord about carrying Jesus?)

 

  1. Mary and Elizabeth celebrated the great miracle together of Jesus coming into the world through Mary! (Who is a friend you like to celebrate special moments with like Mary celebrated with Elizabeth?)

 

  1. Later, Mary and Joseph traveled about 80 miles to Bethlehem for a Roman census, or counting. (These days, traveling 80 miles only takes a few hours if you’re riding in a car or bus. Back then, how long do you think the 80-mile trip would have taken riding on a donkey or walking?)

 

  1. Once Mary and Joseph arrived to Bethlehem, they were probably tired from the long trip. They searched for a place to rest so Mary could have her baby. (We’re getting closer to Jesus’ birthday! Yey!!! How do you think Mary was feeling at this point?)

 

  1. They searched for a place to stay, but there were not enough rooms in the inns. Jesus would soon be coming into the world. They had to find a place soon. (Where do you think they stayed?)

 

  1. It was now Christmas Eve, and Mary would soon have Jesus. They eventually found a manger for Jesus to lay in after he was born. A manger is a trough, or long open box, where animals would eat from. (Since God could have Jesus, our Savior, anywhere, why do you think he chose a manger?)

 

  1. On Christmas day, Jesus was born! Mary wrapped him in cloths and placed him in the manger. Jesus was also called Immanuel which means “God with us”. God loved us so much that he came to earth to be with us through Jesus. (What is one way you can celebrate Jesus’ birthday today?) One idea is to bake a cake to celebrate his birthday together! Merry Christmas!!!

 

 

Create a Sparkle Box with your Kids

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Create your own Sparkle Box from a shoebox, decorate one from a craft shop, or find the original fold-out Sparkle Box and book at the link below. Leading up to Christmas, the family writes ways that each person has loved God and others on notecards and slips them in the gift box. On Christmas morning, open Jesus’ gift box and read the cards aloud. Bake a birthday cake to enjoy alongside this activity. The Sparkle Box will give our kids a more tangible understanding that loving him and others is the best gift we can give him. Enjoy this magical time celebrating such a wondrous day! Merry Christmas!!!
For the original “Sparkle Box”, go to this link: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/sparkle-box-P005544567