Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS: The Little Match Girl/Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas Children's Edition


It is Christmas Eve, but for one little girl, there will be no stockings hung lovingly above the fireplace or shiny presents wrapped under the tree. The best that the little match girl can hope for is a warm, dry corner of the street to protect her against the freezing snow that has been falling for hours.

Helpless and cold, the child seeks a bit of comfort from the only source she has—the bundle of matches in her apron pocket. She had struggled all day to sell even one, but the crowds of people had only hurried past her with hardly a glance as they finished up their holiday shopping and rushed home to begin their feasts. Alas, at least she has the matches now, each one holding the promise of a few short seconds of warmth and light.

But as she strikes each match, she discovers a truth that sets her heart soaring—all along, even in times when she has felt most alone, she has been lovingly watched over by those who have gone before her and have anxiously awaited a joyous reunion. She learns she is not forgotten, and in the learning shares a poignant message of love and service. The tender tale of the little match girl reminds each of us to take notice of the least of those among us and to do our part to extend a kindly hand—at Christmastime and always.


This story has always broken my heart.  A young child alone and cast out in the streets to survive as best she can.  And yet the story is not intended to be one of sadness alone, but of joy as the little girl uses the few matches she has to imagine the most magnificent Christmas possible.  And while the early world had forgotten her, the heavenly one had not as she is joyfully welcomed home.  And while the focus of the story is on the faith and hope the child maintained despite her desperate circumstances, I can't help but ponder how her life would have been different if someone had stepped in to help. To me that is one of the important things that Christmas reminds us of, the need to be kind and loving towards one another as He, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings was.

This magnificent version of a classic tale was first told at the 2016 Christmas Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle choir.  The book includes the story along with some gorgeous illustrations and the words to the song the choir sang with the book.  A video of the storytelling and choir performance can be found at www.motab.org/littlematchgirl.


Discover how each figure of the Nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. This children's edition of Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas will guide you through seven meaningful traditions inspired by the Nativity setting. These simple experiences are not meant to add more to an already crowded holiday season but to offer something different. They will give your family an opportunity to escape from the frantic bustle of the Christmas season and spend time reflecting on the baby Jesus and the miracle of His birth.

This interactive book invites children to watch each figure approach the waiting manger and encourages them to ask what they might have done if they had been there on the night Jesus was born. Seven beautiful ornaments have been created to accompany the lesson each figure teaches. Displaying the ornaments throughout the Christmas holiday will remind your children of the lessons they are learning about the baby Jesus.


The Christmas season always seems to be so busy and chaotic that the real meaning of Christmas gets left behind.  Emily Freeman & David Butler have created this book to help parents lead their children toward a more spiritual, joy-filled Christmas experience.  The book is intended to be used over a seven day period.  Each day focuses on one person(s) or part of the Christmas story.  For example, the first night focuses on the innkeeper providing the stable for Joseph and Mary to stay in, the second night focuses on Joseph's kind treatment of Mary, etc.  Each section begins with a scripture passage from the Christmas story told in the Bible, followed by a brief explanation of what what happening.  The question, Could you? follows each explanation.  A question related to the topic then follows such as: How could you make room for the baby Jesus as part of your Christmas celebration this year?  There is a set of Christmas ornaments and nativity scene that can be purchased to go along with the traditions and questions suggested.  For those who are looking for a new tradition to help children celebrate Christmas in a Christ-Centered way, this book is a great resource.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Beautiful Moments kit by Newlife Dreams