9383 Edison St NE
Alliance, OH 44601
Keep Christ in Christmas By
Starting Some New Traditions
Traditions are important for families because they provide 1. To help your family keep your
opportunities to keep your unique legacy going. From the simple to Christmas celebrations focused
the silly to the sentimental, traditions can create meaningful on Jesus.
memories. Perhaps you buy a new ornament for each of your
children every year. This Christmas, don’t hesitate to try out some 2. To give your family members
new traditions. See what does and doesn’t work for your family. You positive attitudes about trying
just may create a new tradition that’ll keep going for generations! new traditions.
Make Affirmation Ornaments—Have each 3. To help you create strong
family member cut out a large ornament shape bonds and lasting memories.
from construction paper and write his or her
name on the front. On the back, have other
family members write (or draw) something Parenting Insights
special about the person whose name is on the
front. Then decorate the ornaments, attach yarn The editors of Parents’ Guide to the
hangers, and put them on your Christmas tree. Spiritual Growth of Children (Focus
on the Family) share these tips for
Get Crafty—Have a family craft night so incorporating new traditions.
family members can make simple homemade
gifts for one another. These can include coupon 1. Make them fun! When your
books for help with chores or for special outings. celebrations are filled with
laughter, the real message
Share the News—As a family, dress up and put on a Christmas behind them will be reinforced
play for neighborhood children. Serve juice and homemade cookies. more positively in your family.
Adopt a Child in Need—Anonymously assist a young person in 2. Use Christmas symbols.
your community through small gifts, money, and encouraging cards. Many symbols have Christian
If possible, do these acts of service all year long. origins. For example, St.
Nicholas was a shy, generous
man who secretly did good
deeds for the poor. Decorating
“I Believe…” with festive Christmas lights
According to a recent Associated Press poll, 86% of people believed also has Christian roots.
in Santa as children. More than 60% of parents with young children
said Santa is an important part of their Christmas celebrations. 3. Don’t ban all secular
traditions. Take a balanced
Other findings: approach to your Christmas
• 47% of people said Santa detracts from the holiday’s celebrations, for your children’s
religious importance, while 36% said Santa enhances the sake. Then they’ll be more open
religious nature of Christmas. to receive the true reason for
• 81% of people said they believe in angels, including more the season.
than half of people who say they aren’t religious.
“Glory to God in highest
heaven, and peace on earth
to those with whom God is
On the first Christmas, the
angels announced Jesus’ birth. What do traditions—and Christmas—mean to your children?
As we celebrate Christmas, our Discover their opinions and insights by asking these questions:
worship and traditions also
focus on our newborn Savior, 1. What are your favorite things to do around Christmastime, and
the King of Kings. why? Which do you plan to continue with your own children?
Teachable Moments 2. How do our traditions help make Christmas more special? How
might some traditions interfere with our celebrations?
1. Make waiting fun. Patience
is a difficult life skill to learn, 3. What traditions would you like our family to start or stop, and
especially during December. why? What traditions can kids in our family be in charge of?
Harness children’s wonder
and anticipation by letting 4. How would you explain “Christmas” to someone who was
them explore their creativity. unfamiliar with it?
Keep red- and green-colored
paper, as well as other craft
supplies, readily available. Family Experience: Star-Studded Fun
Have kids make gift tags,
wreaths, cards, and more. Brighten up the dark winter nights by trying these joy-filled,
Christ-based experiences with your family and friends:
2. Deck the (stable) halls.
Instead of a gingerbread • Follow the Star—Hang a trail of stars throughout your house, and
house, decorate a at each star, place a nativity-scene figure.
gingerbread stable with Hang the last, largest star over a cake with
assorted candies. Prop three candles, and place baby Jesus by it.
animal crackers inside Then follow the stars. Stop at each one
graham-cracker walls, and and talk about the role of that person (or
use toasted coconut as hay. animal). At the final star, light the three
candles. Say, “These candles represent the
3. Read all about it. Many star of Bethlehem that shone brightly over
families read aloud the baby Jesus; Jesus, the light of the world,
Christmas story before who was born into a dark night; and how
opening gifts. Go beyond God wants us to be a light for others and
Jesus’ birth to Luke 2:25-38, point them to Jesus. Sing “Happy
where Jesus is presented in Birthday” to Jesus and share the cake.
the temple. Talk about
faithful Simeon and Anna, • Star Square—This game, which is ideal
whose prayers were for play with extended families, is a reminder of the wise men who
answered. Then discuss followed the Christmas star to find Jesus. With masking tape, divide
ways you’ve seen God in an 8x8-foot space into four squares. Tape a construction-paper star
action during the past week. in one quadrant. Put one person in each square, and have everyone
else stand in a circle around the quadrants. The “star” square starts
play by tapping the ball into another square. Players tap the ball
into another square whenever it enters theirs. Play continues until
someone misses, and then that person steps out and a new player
rotates in from the circle. Players rotate clockwise toward the star.
Whenever a player steps into the star, he or she should share one
thing about Jesus or Christmas.
This page is designed to help educate parents and isn’t meant to endorse any movie, music, or product.
Our prayer is that you’ll make informed decisions about what your children watch, listen to, and wear.
What’s Playing at the Movies Culture & Trends
Movie: The Princess and the Frog (Dec. 11)
Genre: Animated fairy tale, comedy What’s happening right
Rating: G now that may affect your
Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Angela Bassett, Terrence children and family:
Howard, Oprah Winfrey
Synopsis: Tiana, Disney’s first African-American • More restaurants are
princess, lives in New Orleans during the Jazz Age. trying to lure families
She meets Naveen, a prince who’s been transformed with “kids eat free”
into a frog by an evil magician. Naveen mistakes meals. “Free is magic,”
Tiana for a princess, and when they kiss, Tiana says professor Barry
becomes a frog, too. They go on adventures to restore their humanity. Schwartz. “It will seduce
(Caution: They seek direction from a voodoo priestess.) people into eating out
Discussion Questions: What kind of true or untrue assumptions do who shouldn’t.”
people often make about you? What can you tell (and not tell) just by
looking at someone? Read 1 Samuel 16:7. What do you think God sees • Preschoolers can have
when he looks inside your heart? chronic depression, new
What Music Is Releasing persistent sadness (even
when playing), trouble
Artist: Sara Groves sleeping, irritability, and
Album: Fireflies and Songs frequent tantrums.
Artist Info: Groves is a prolific writer of Christian ______________
folksongs that contain personal lyrics about faith
and relationships. Her tours have benefited several
Summary: Groves says Fireflies and Songs is a • In this flailing economy,
candid, confessional album. In the nostalgic “This many pregnant women
House,” Groves assures her 2-year-old daughter (and her listeners) that
are rethinking adoption.
“the Lord withholds no good thing.” At a Chicago agency,
Discussion Questions: During your life, what are some of the biggest
30% more women are
blessings that God has provided for you? How have some of those inquiring about placing a
blessings been disguised at first? Read Psalm 84:11. How might God be
child for adoption than a
using you to be a blessing for other people? year ago.
What Games Are Out
Cook or Be Cooked
learn basic kitchen
skills and then
advance to “real-
life” food prep. • The U.S. now has
E; Wii between 1.5 million and
2 million home-schooled
LEGO Rock Band students. That’s a 75%
increase since 1999.
simulation game is
than other popular
titles. As the band
MCC Youth & Family Fall/Winter 2009 Schedule
12/9 6:00pm to Jr. High Christmas Party @ MCC
8:00pm *Please bring a $10 gift-exchange
item (wrapped) that could be for a boy
12/16 3:30pm Sr. High Christmas Party/Fellowship
(Actual start - Movie @ Carnation, Dinner in
time based on food court, Shopping for Needy
movie time) to Family @ Wal-Mart
12/18 4:00pm Sr. High “Christmas Star” Present
(Depart MCC) & ANY Delivery/Fellowship @ Wooster
10:00pm ADULTS Christian Children’s Home
12/20 6:00pm to ALL Christmas Caroling followed by
8:00pm CHURCH refreshments & fellowship @ MCC
1/13 6:30pm to K – 12th Wed. Youth Groups Resume
8:00pm *EVERY WEDNESDAY
1/29 5pm (Depart) Jr. & Sr. “Winterjam 2010”
7pm Concert High Christian Music’s LARGEST Annual Tour
11pm (Return) Featuring: Third Day, Newsboys,
Fireflight, AND MORE…
Only $10 per person at the door!
2/12-2/13 3:00pm 2/12 Jr. High Believe Conference
(Depart MCC) ONLY Bank of Kentucky Center (Cincinnati,
9:00pm 2/13 OH)
(Return to • Cost is $50 per student (Deposit
MCC) of $25 due by Jan. 3rd to confirm
ED CARTER, Minister of Worship & Evangelism
ED HARNISH, Minister of Benevolence & Pastoral Care
JOSH TODD, Minister of Education & Youth
9383 Edison Street Alliance, Ohio 44601 330-935-2161