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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The Man and the Birds
PAUL HARVEY’S CHRISTMAS STORY; “THE MAN AND THE BIRDS”
By PAUL HARVEY, ABC RADIO
Dec 24, 2004, 01:57
Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas Story of the Man and the Birds. You know, THE Christmas Story, the God born a man in a manger and all that escapes some moderns, mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced I submit a modern parable.
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Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn’t wear boots; he didn’t like them and anyway he didn’t own any. The thin sneakers he wore had few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas gift.
He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don’t have any money to spend.”
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn’t because his mother didn’t care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity.
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A String of Blue Beads
By Fulton Oursler
Peter Richards was the loneliest man in town on the day Jean Grace opened his door. You may have seen something in the newspapers about the incident at the time it happened, although neither his name nor hers was publicized, nor was the full story told as I tell it here.
Pete’s shop had come down to him from his grandfather. The little Christmas front window was strewn With a disarray of old-fashioned things; bracelets and lockets worn in days before the Civil War; gold rings and silver boxes; images of jade and ivory, porcelain figurines.
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Pattern of Love
by Jack Smith
I didn’t question Timmy, age nine, or his seven year old brother Billy about the brown wrapping paper they passed back and forth between them as we visited each store.
Every year at Christmas time, our Service Club takes the children from poor families in our town on a personally conducted shopping tour. I was assigned Timmy and Billy, whose father was out of work. After giving them the allotted four dollars each, be began our trip. At different stores I made suggestions, but always their answer was a solemn shake of the head, no. Finally I asked, “Where would you suggest we look?”
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Emma’s Christmas Wish
by Sallyann F. Murphey
Outside, snow tumbled down, piling against gates and doorways, obliterating the road, and filling the old farmhouse with opalescent light. Inside, all was quiet—except for the whisper of voices upstairs: “Rosie, please…We must have Christmas, and how can we do that without the Christmas book?”
“But Dad told us we couldn’t this year. No Christmas, no cookies, no carols, no…anything…” The seven-year-old’s bottom lip began to quiver.
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A Different Kind of Christmas
Martha had tried to ignore the approach of Christmas. She would have kept it almost entirely out of her thoughts if Jed had not come eagerly into the cabin one day, stomping the snow from his cold feet as he said in an excited voice, “Martha, we’re going to have a Christmas tree this year, anyway. I spotted a cedar on that rise out south of the wheat field, over near the Norton’s place. It’s a scrubby thing, but it will do since we can’t get a pine. Maybe Christmas will be a little different here, but it will still be the kind of Christmas we used to have.”
As she shook her head, Martha noticed that Daniel glanced quickly up from the corner where he was playing, patiently tying together some sticks with bits of string left over from the quilt she had tied a few days earlier. She drew Jed as far away from the boy as possible.
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The Anonymous Benefactor
by Susan Easton Black
With a Cadillac, a maid, and a gardener, my family always had a Christmas with the best gifts from Santa’s sleigh.
My anticipation of opening gifts on Christmas Day was boundless, for I knew my mother was an uncontrolled shopper when it came to my whims. After opening one gift after another, I toted my new acquisitions up and down the street so all the neighbors would know that Santa loved me best and that my parents were spoiling me to my complete satisfaction.
From such a worldly background of material prosperity, it seemed only natural for me to fantasize that when I had children of my own the established tradition of wealth and abundant giving at Christmas would continue. If that had been the case, I would not have had one memorable Christmas—just more of the same.
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