This is our favorite house to drive by in our neighborhood! I wonder how long it takes to set up something like this? Do people do this on their own or with hired help? Either way, we sure like to look at it!
For our Family Home Evening activity last Monday, which was also our Advent Calendar activity for the day, we decorated a gingerbread train.
A Christmas Orange
Ben lived in an orphanage with nine other children. They didn't have very many nice things – only a few toys that were very old and one blanket for each of their beds – and oftentimes there was very little to eat. Ben's favorite time of year was Christmas. At Christmastime there always seemed to be more food to eat, and the streets were filled with happy people singing carols and ringing bells. But Ben's favorite thing about Christmas was getting out the old wooden Nativity. Ben loved the Wise Men with their fine clothes and the shepherds' sheep, but most of all he loved the faces of Mary and Joseph as they looked at the baby Jesus. They were humble and filled with peace and love for this beautiful baby.
Another favorite thing for all the children at the orphanage was the Christmas orange they received on Christmas Eve. The children would save the oranges for several days so they could enjoy the feel and smell of them. Then they would break them open and enjoy the sweetness of the treat they had waited for all year long.
On Christmas Day, Ben broke one of the orphanage rules. He was sent to his bed, and his precious orange was taken away. That night he sat very lonely on his bed and cried as he said a little prayer to say he was sorry. In the darkness he lay crying quietly, and then he felt a soft small hand touch his shoulder. Something was quickly put into his hand. As Ben opened his hand he found an orange – a beautiful Christmas orange like none other he had ever received, for it was made up of nine sections from nine other Christmas oranges. Ben felt the peace and love that shone in the faces of the little Mary and Joseph in the Nativity.
May we all share a part of ourselves this wonderful Christmas season!