Thursday, 16 December 2010

Talking with Santa


As a little girl climbed onto Santa’s lap, Santa asked the usual:
“And what would you like for Christmas?”
The child stared at him open-mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: “Didn’t you get my email?”

Dear Santa,
There are three little boys who live at our house.
There’s Jeffrey. He’s two.
There’s David. He’s four.
There’s Norman. He is seven.
Jeffrey is good some of the time.
David is good some of the time.
Norman is good all of the time.
I am Norman.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Advent Prayer

Prayer of a New Guinea Christian

At the Advent season we should try the key to our heart's door. It may have gathered rust. If so, this is the time to oil it, in order that the heart's door may open more easily when the Lord Jesus wants to enter at Christmastime. Lord, oil the hinges of our heart's doors that they may swing gently and easily to welcome your coming.

12 Days of Christmas?

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. 
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? 

 
This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. 
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning 
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember. 
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. 
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. 
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. 
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. 
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy. 
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes. 
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,  Faithfulness, 
 Gentleness, and Self Control.. 
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments. 
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol..so pass it on if you wish.'
Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Children's Christmas Plays and Photos

Eliab's Christmas Page - Free stories, puppets skits, songs and chants
Christmas is Coming resource booklet -for children's Christmas programs.
Original Puppet plays, skits, stories, and Christmas clip art.
Free high resolution Christmas Photos for use in publicity, worship or cards.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Magi-cal Approach to Worship




What are the Magi doing in the Christmas story - they're a bit mysterious, don't you think? And for that matter, what is a magi, or a mage? Probably best to clear up a bit confusion first.

Joel Payne has written an interesting article on the Magi which is well worth checking out. It's posted at EngageWorship.org

Fresh Christmas Resources for Children's Ministry

Here are some great ideas re possible Advent/Christmas activities for your context…
Bible Society Seeds Christmas Issues
Christian Playgroup Storytime Christmas Surprises 


From the Uniting Church in South Australia
 
Adorable Multi-Age Worship Resource



From Barnabas November eNews
A Sheep's Tale
Christmas Story Beads
Christmas games - activities for a children's or all-age session
Church-sized Christingles - get everyone involved in a twist on this traditional service
Christmas - Have I got good news for you! -the Bible in TV programmes
Operation Christmas Child - a reflective story
Packing up Christmas - some games that tell a story
Presenting the Christmas message through sounds
Seasonal Shopping - an all-age nativity sketch
Multi-Age Advent - an Advent service focusing on John the Baptist's prophetic ministry.


 
 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Advent Notes

  • The reason for the Advent season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent or Coming, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent or Coming. We look forward to both, and remember that Christ could return at any time, and we must be ready.
  • In some churches and especially Eastern Orthodox ones, Advent has become a time to fast. In a similar way to Lent, it has become a time to clear their lives and minds and make space to allow God to move. Fasting allows people to concentrate on God, and makes the feasting of the celebration of Christmas all the more enjoyable.Jesus
  • “Gaudete Sunday” is the old name for the third Sunday in Advent, when people moved from fasting and praying , and started to look forward to Christmas. “Gaudete” means ‘rejoice” in Latin, and reminds us that the coming of Jesus really is something to rejoice about!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Christmas Care

After a long day of putting on a wonderful Christmas meal, Mum was standing over the kitchen sink wearily washing the mountain of dirty dishes. In the middle of this monumental task, her teenage daughter strolled into the kitchen and saw what her mother was doing. The thoughtful girl said, "Mum, today's a holiday, you shouldn't be doing that." The mother was taken aback by the seeming kindness of her daughter. She began to put down the dish rag and take off her gloves. A sense of pride overtook her as she thought her little girl was now starting to show signs of maturity by helping out with the dishes. Her bubble was burst, though, when the teenager said, "Just do them tomorrow."

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Handprint Angel Craft Activity

Scripture Union (UK) have some Christmas resources for young children at their  Tiddlywinks website.
Check out the Handprint Angels and the  Nativity colouring page.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Christmas Chant

Christmas Chant
Clop, clop, clop went the donkey's feet
Clop, clop, clop down the stoney street.
Nod, nod, nod went Mary's head
She was so tired, she needed a bed.
Knock, knock, knock went Joseph at the door.
Do you have room for anyone more?
No, no, no the innkeeper said.
Wait, wait, wait the innkeeper said
You can use my stable for a bed
Shh, shh, shh What is that I hear?
The cry of Baby Jesus, oh so dear.

source unknown

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Christmas Quotes

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ. - Bart Simpson, The Simpsons

Christmas is the Christian's Christmas present to everyone else. Christmas, for a Christian, tells us why people matter.  Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

Xmas, n: Popular festival made to sound like a skin disease. Mike Barfield

Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of Santa? Bart Simpson, The Simpsons

The lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. Garrison Keillor

Christmas is about a child, and for children: like parenthood, if you don't throw yourself into it body and soul you will have a wretched time. Amanda Craig

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Christmas is Coming

Christmas Resources For Children's Ministry

The Carpenter’s Cradle - a poem I wrote for a worship service focusing on Joseph.
Christmas Songs - two songs to familiar tunes reworked.
Christmas is Coming- a PDF booklet incuding original puppet plays, stories, and clip art.
Sweet Christmas- A Christmas Story told using chocolate bars.
Christmas@Pooh Corner , My Christmas Pillow- two original stories for children.
Bon Christmas - a short Christmas talk with a puppet.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Nativity Plays

At a nativity play, all was going well until the angel appeared and told the little girl playing Mary that she was going to have a baby.
“But how can this be,” said Mary, “since I am a Viking?”

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Christmas Observations

A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with
them to Jerusalem, "They couldn't get a baby-sitter," a small child replied.

When a pastor asked the class, "Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem?" a boy
raised his hand and replied, "Because his mother was there."
 


Politically Correct Holiday Greetings

Politically Correct Holiday Greetings

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an
environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive,
gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within
the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular
practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular
persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice
religious or secular traditions at all;"

In addition........

"A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated
recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not
without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose
contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that
America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only
"AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race,
creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer
platform, or sexual orientation of the wisher."


(Disclaimer: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms.
This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely
transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no
promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for
her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is
revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to
perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a
period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting,
whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish
or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher who assumes
no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings
may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Free Christmas Photos

I have just posted some high res. Christmas photos which may be  of use for either cards, publicity or a web blog. You'll find them here at my other website. http://eliab.com


 LINK- Free Christmas Photos
Check back soon as more are to be added.