The Other Wise Man
by Henry Van Dyke
The other wise man’s name was Artaban. He was one of the Magi and he lived in Persia. He was a man of great wealth, great learning, and great faith. With his learned companions he had searched the scriptures as to the time that the Savior should be born. They knew that a new star would appear and it was agreed between them that Artaban would watch from Persia and the others would observe the sky from Babylon.
On the night he believed the sign was to be given, Artaban went out on this roof to watch the night sky. “If the star appears, they will wait for me ten days, then we will all set out for Jerusalem. I have made ready for the journey by selling all of my possessions and have bought three jewels–a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl. I intend to present them as my tribute to the king.”
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A Visit From St. Nicholas
by Clement Clark Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
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Big Wheel Truckstop
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.
The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.. Still no luck.
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Silent Night, Holy Night
As told by Walter Cronkite with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The 1900’s, the final century of the recent millennium, brought unprecedented possibilities and promise.
The children of these hundred years would see more improvement in the human condition than ever before in the world’s history.
Advances in medicine, science, and industry would all but eradicate disease, extend human life, open a dialogue among the peoples of the earth, and lift them into the vast reaches of space.
But these hardly seemed like possibilities as the Christmas of 1914 drew near.
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Santa’s Favorite Story
by Hisako Aoki
One cold day in December a fox was walking in the forest. As he looked at the snowy trees, he remembered that it would soon be Christmas. Then he heard something. He sniffed the air and looked around.
There fast asleep against a tree, was Santa Claus! He was snoring. “Oh my goodness!’ thought the fox, “Santa Claus has come early this year. I’d better go and tell everyone he’s here.” So he hurried off to tell all the other animals that lived in the forest.
When they heard the news, the animals hopped and ran and scampered and flew to the tree. A squirrel chattered excitedly, and Santa Claus slowly stretched, yawned, and then opened his eyes to see the faces of a dozen little creatures.
“Why are you here?” they asked him.
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Who Will Take the Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
One day the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while saving another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only child.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood there with a large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you and your love of art.” The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”
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Ancient America Views the First Christmas
from the Book of Mormon
I looked and beheld the…city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. And (the) angel…said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
And…I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time.. I…beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! (Nephi, about 600 BC, 1 Nephi 11:13-21)
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Rudolf—That Amazing Reindeer
On a December night in Chicago several years ago, a little girl climbed onto her father’s lap and asked a question. It was a simple question asked in a child’s curiosity, yet it had a heart-rending effect on Robert May.
“Daddy,” four-year-old Barbara asked, “Why isn’t my mommy just like everybody else’s mommy?
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The Twelve Days of Christmas
by Vickey Pahnke CES teacher, songwriter, producer
The story goes that from 1558 until 1829 people in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During this era, the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ was written as a subtle way of celebrating Christ’s birth in public without risk of prosecution. The song’s lyrics had a hidden meaning known only to members of the church, each element of the twelve days offering code meaning for a religious reality.
1. The partridge in a pear tree stood for Jesus Christ
2. The two turtledoves stood for the Old and New Testaments
3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope, and charity.
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