By Alison Palmer
Song:“Once within a Lowly Stable,” Children’s Songbook, 41
Obtain an inexpensive roll of saran wrap for experimenting with during the lesson. Display a nativity or Christ-centered picture in the area where you will meet as a family.
Prayerfully read, “What Have I Done for Someone Today,” Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November 2009, 84-87 and consider which thoughts and passages you would like to share with your family.
Direct your family’s attention to the nativity scene. Spend a few moments sharing each family member’s favorite part of the Christmas story. Then, remind the family why it was so important for Christ to come to earth and live as He did. What was He here to teach us and do for us?
Read Galatians 5:13, Mosiah 2:17, and Matthew 25:34–40 as a family.
Ask two family members to tightly hold up a sheet of saran wrap. Invite another person to see if they can poke a hole through the center of the plastic. Now experiment with holding many sheets of saran wrap together in layers, how many sheets does it take before no one is able to poke through it without extreme measures?
Read and discuss President Monson’s statement about finding ourselves in the thick of thin things, then relate that to the saran wrap. What types of “invisible,” seemingly innocent things do we let get in the way of service we could give to those around us? How do those layers of busyness interfere with our ability to see the needs of others? Why have we been asked to lose ourselves in service?
Using examples from President Monson’s talk and your own lives, discuss the differences between large acts of service and small and simple gifts of love. Why do we need both? How can we decide what, and how much to do? What difference does it make if someone else knows what you’ve done?
What does it mean to lose yourself in service?
Create a “warm fuzzy jar” as talked about in President Monson’s message. But, instead of filling it with things you do, take the time to think about, and fill it with memories of acts of love and service that have been shown to your family through out the year. Encourage each family member to spend time making a private list of services they have received and why they mattered before making wish lists of things they’d like to receive on Christmas day.
Young Children: Obtain a roll of cash register tape to record tiny acts of service on. Use one of two methods. Either brain storm in Family Home Evening for as many different acts of service as you can think of and then see how many you can mark off before Christmas. Or, record service as it is performed and see how much of the roll you have used by Christmas.
Older Children: Obtain a large piece of foam insulation. Spray paint it silver, then paint on a black silhouette of the nativity. This can be done by shining a light on a small cut out picture and tracing its shadow. Drape a string of lights (without bulbs) around the picture and place it in a prominent location. Add light bulbs as tiny acts of service are performed by the family until all the lights are illuminated on Christmas Eve.
Popcorn Balls, because little acts of love can turn into a snowball of happiness.