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SSTN # 109 - December 23, 2005

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1) Happy Holiday VS. Merry Christmas
2) Hanging of the greens
3) Kids Praise program?
4) Christmas Game w/ Grandpa?
5) Hanging of the greens

Noel Christmas Photo Frame...
... Download it today!

6) Christmas Ornament Photo
7) Christmas Ornament Photo
8) Ships and treasure maps prize?
9) Multiaged Group
10) Christmas Party Games

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1) Happy Holiday VS. Merry Christmas

We live in a very quiet area but above the hum of the computer fan and the
water circulating quietly through the heating unit I can hear the muffled
roar of the busy traffic in the city of Klagenfurt. People are running "to
and fro" doing what they usually do plus trying to get all the extra
done for the holidays. And the point is often missed – that Christ is the
center of Christmas. The German word for Christmas is "Weihnachten". It
literally means "consecrated night". Here in Austria, I'm seeing the words
"Christmas" or "Merry Christmas" used more often than "Weihnachten" and
there doesn't seem to be a boycott of using the word "Christmas", while in
the States there is a battle to keep Christ in Christmas and the word
"holidays" is the politically preferred word. Well, break that word down
you get "holy" and "days" and you have a word similar in meaning to the
German word for Christmas. If people are trying to get away from Christ by
using a "secular" word they are kidding themselves severely. Worse, it
boggles the mind to hear that there are churches in the States that are
going to be closed on Sunday the 25th because it is a "family" day while
casinos will be open! The best place for the family to be on Christmas Day
is in church! It is even more special when it is on Sunday! The answer to
the world's problems (e.g. sin) isn't hitting the jackpot or even love,
peace and hope but CHRIST alone! Without HIM all the other good things are
very limited at best because HE is THE LIGHT of the world – THE SOURCE of
love, joy, peace and hope! He is the ONLY ONE who can forgive and cleanse
from sin and without HIM Christmas is like a nice frame without a picture

--from SSTN: the above was sent in by Mark and Becky Bryan, missionaries
to Austria. You can learn more about their ministry at: marknbecky@aon.at

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2) Hanging of the greens

Years ago our church had a hanging of the greens ceremony.  It explained
what each symbol of Christmas stood for in Christ: Does anyone know them?

I was in charge of this service at the church I used to attend.  I have a
script for a whole service that you may use or you may simply use the info
in it to make your own service.  Email me if you would like the file. 
Make sure you put Hanging of the Greens or something similar in the
subject line so I'll be sure and open it.

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3) Kids Praise program?

I would really like to get a Kids Praise program running at the Kids Club
at my church next year. We are very much a "work in progress" as it has
only been in the last few years that more children have come into the
church - PRAISE GOD! and this year we performed a gorgeous Christmas
Nativity .. but I would like to know if anybody can recommend some
songbooks or even CD's to get that the children can sing along to (which
may be easier and we won't need any musicians????)
Please send me your ideas and what you have used that works in your
THank you!
Michele, Melbourne

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4) Christmas Game w/ Grandpa?

We have 13 grandchildren and they along with Moms and Dads will be home
next week for Christmas.  I would like to play some Christmas Games.  I
heard of a game where Grandpa reads a Christmas Story.  (Previous to that,
all the children are given a word on paper).  When that word is read, they
go and get a gift.  I haven’t worked on it yet but it would be great to
read the Birth of Jesus out of the Bible! 

You have any suggestions.  
Thank you so much!
Mrs. Gwen

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5) Hanging of the greens

    I found this website years ago.  It's still active and items have been
added to it since I found it.   You can go here, click on a letter and it
will give a picture of the symbol, and a brief discussion of the meaning.

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An easy make-and-take project with a great fundraising idea!
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6) Christmas Ornament Photo

A fun and simple craft for an ornament using a photo.
For each child:
   Paper dessert plate, (you can easily find them in red or green during
the holidays)  
   Doily that is slightly larger than the paper plate.  
   Photo of child
Pre-cut a heart out of the center of the plate large enough to view the
photo.  Decorated the fronts of the plates with glitter.  Glue the photo
to the back of the plate as to view it from the front.  Then glue the
doily to the back the plate.  The edges of the doily should extend further
than the plate so that when viewed from the front it looks as though it is
trimmed with lace. Punch holes and tie with ribbon so they may be hung. 

I have used this with all ages of children and have had no problems.  The
only things that the children aren't able to do well is cutting the heart
shape from the plate so I do this ahead of time.  They are more than able
to complete the rest of the project.  We then wrap them and have the
children give them to parents for Christmas gifts.

My own children made these years ago and they remain my favorite. 
Margee - Colorado

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7) Christmas Ornament Photo

Last year our Sunday School used those CDs that arrive in the mail for
internet service.  Simply glue a photo of the child where the hole is. 
Then use glitter/glue to decorate.  Yarn or string can be glued on to hang
on the Christmas tree

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8) Ships and treasure maps prize?


I am starting a contest with our Sunday School to help build it up and I
am looking for any Ideals.
I t is on the theme of Ships and treasure maps. and who can reach the
light house first wins a prizes for the group .

yours in Christ

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9) Multiaged Group

Hi Terri
Sorry it took so long to reply, I am in the middle of Grad School exams.
Teaching a wide age range just takes alittle planning. I usually have a
general lesson in mind. This year is the Old Testament. With this in mind,
I have an easy colouring page for the younger set and some "funky" art for
the preteens. We all start together in prayer then move to the tables.
Little tables for the little ones. We start with a basic lesson then on to
the craft. They are all loosely based on the lesson. Once the older ones
are done their craft they help the little ones, this is great for
It can get alittle noisy but it is music to my ears. We also have 2
autistic children in the class (one of them is my own child) so I am
getting pretty good at adapting lesson " on the fly".
I find the internet is a great resource for multi-level lessons and craft
Hope this helps.
Feel free to email me for more specific ideas, I'd be glad to help

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10) Christmas Party Games

One of the games the children love at my church is
Pass the present.
take a box, put prizes inside and wrap it as many times as you need. I've
wrapped it up to 30 times when I was expecting a large crowd.
Pass the box to music, who ever has it when the music ends gets to unwrap
a layer. For older kids they have to answer a question correctly to be
allowed to unwrap a layer.

version 2:
wrap a question in each layer, put it on a separate sheet of paper so it
doesn't get ripped when the wrapping paper does. after the  child unwraps
a layer they have to answer the question then pass the present on to music
again. The child that unwraps the last layer gets to help pass out the

This works wonderfully with my group ranging in age from 2-14, even the
coolest teens want to play.

Pin the star on the stable
play just like pin the tail on the donkey

Freeze dance to christmas music
even my older kids love this game

Hope I helped, much love Jessie

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