Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The ANGEL on the shelf

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Don't you just love holiday traditions? My mom was always big on little traditions... like having one gift for us to open on Christmas Eve, like always having an orange and nuts in our Christmas stockings, like making sure a sweet little Valentine card awaited us at breakfast...

Here's a new tradition that your family will just love: find the Christmas angel. Angels played such an important role in the nativity, acting as God's messengers of truth in revealing His plan. One way to keep the focus on CHRISTmas this year is to use an angel as a reminder of the reason for the season.

On the first night of your new tradition (you  might want to time this to do the third Scripture reading on Christmas Eve), bring out your angel to show your children. Read through Luke 1:26-38 aloud with your children. Help them understand that the angel was serving God by bringing a very important message to Mary. Ask your children:
  • Do you think Mary was surprised to see the angel?
  • What did the angel tell Mary?
  • What was Mary's response? 
Now tell your children that you have an angel surprise for them. In the morning, when they wake up, they should look around the house for your angel. It might be on a shelf, a table, or even in a cupboard. Perhaps the child who finds the angel can be your special messenger that day, letting the family know when meals are ready, delivering notes, etc.

For several more nights, continue to review what you read in Luke 1 and remind your children to look for the angel each morning. When you are ready, read Matthew 1:18-25 aloud with your children. Ask them:
  • What had Joseph planned to do?
  • What did the angel tell Joseph?
  • What was Joseph's response?
Continue reviewing what you've read and hiding (often in plain sight) the angel for several more nights. Then, for your final reading, read through Luke 2:1-20 with your children. After reading, ask your children:
  • How did the shepherds feel when they saw the angel?
  • What did the angel tell them?
  • What happened next?
  • How did the shepherds respond?
If you read the final reading on Christmas Eve, you will "hide" the angel one more time. Perhaps this time you could hide it near a nativity or your Christmas tree -- somewhere the family might gather on Christmas morning. Once the family is gathered together, review -- even reread -- the passages you've shared together, "glorifying and praising God for all that {you} have heard and seen..." just as the shepherds did. 

SOLD OUT!  But check out the other products in my Willow House store. The Herald Angel, shown above, is one of many Willow House products on sale through 12/31/11. Regularly $28.96, it's available for just $9.96 while supplies last. At that price, you'll want one for your family and another to share. For those purchasing through my online store or by contacting me directly, I'll be happy to email you an attractive, printable copy of the Angel on the Shelf tradition suggestions. I hope this will help make the Christmas season more meaningful for your family!

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© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
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