Wednesday, February 4, 2009



I have been sharing teaching ideas with children's ministers through my monthly Newsletters and on my 'Blog' sites since 2002. In these 'Special Blogs', I have grouped together some of my ideas into some of the major Biblical teaching areas. In this way it is hoped that readers will be able to go directly to a particular subject to view some ideas - object lessons, teaching tips, stories etc., or even to prepare a complete children's lesson (or lessons) on that subject.

Maurice Sweetsur
Email :

Contents - All 'Special Blogs'.

1. Creation.
2. Christmas.
3. Easter.
4. The Bible.
5. Prayer.
6. Hearing from God.
7. The Ten Commandments.
8. John 3.16.
9. Teaching Memory verses.
10. Gospel Illusions.
11. Object Lessons (using natural laws).
12. Lessons involving balloons.
13. Lessons involving fire.

Other Blog sites from Maurice Sweetsur :-

Children's ministry -
All teaching material (All Newsletters) -
Object lessons / Illusions -
Bible lessons and Teaching tips -
Stories, skits and puppet plays -
Bible answers for kids -
Kidzone (Children's site) -
Kidzone - Archives. -
To find out more about my ministry to children, go to my main 'Blog' -

Contents (Christmas).

Teaching tip - Telling the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. story.
Object Lesson - Receiving Jesus
Object Lesson - The Christmas tree.
Teaching tip - Symbols of Christmas.
Teaching tip - The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Puppet play - What is Christmas all about?
Story - "I give you me!"
Craft - Making a 'fun' Christmas card.
Elimination quiz - Christmas.
Christmas Symbols - The Candy Cane.

Teaching tip - Telling the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. story.

Write out on separate pieces of cardboard the nine letters that make up the word 'CHRISTMAS'. Take each letter in turn to illustrate the Christmas story. As you talk about each letter, get a volunteer to come and hold it up before the class - at the conclusion the complete word will thus be shown.

There are a number of variations that could be used, but here are some ideas.

C = Christ. God's gift to us.
H = Heaven. Jesus came down from Heaven to be born at Bethlehem.
R = Redeemer. You will probably have to explain this. To redeem something means to buy it back. God
created us, but then he had to buy us back with the blood of Jesus. The famous story about the boy who
made, lost and then had to buy back a toy boat is helpful in explaining this.*
I = Israel. Jesus was born in Israel. (An alternative could be Isaiah, who foretold of His coming).
S = Star. God sent a bright star to guide the wise men. (An alternative could be Stable).
T = The wise men. The Bible doesn't say how many there were, but they brought Three gifts.
M = Manger, in which Jesus was placed. (An alternative could be Mary).
A = Angels, who announced Jesus' birth.
S = Shepherds, the first to hear the 'Good News. (An alternative could be Saviour).

* A boy once made a toy boat. He was very proud of his boat because he hadn't bought it, he had made it himself. One day whilst sailing his boat on the lake, the wind suddenly strengthened and blew the toy boat out of sight towards the other side of the lake. The boy immediately ran around to the far side of the lake to look for his boat. He searched and searched, but couldn't find it anywhere, the boat was lost. The boy was bitterly disappointed because this wasn't any ordinary boat, this was his special boat that he had made with his own hands.

Sometime later the boy was walking past a shop. He happened to look in the window, and there up for sale was his boat. He knew it was his because he had made it himself and knew exactly what it looked like. Immediately the boy rushed into the shop and paid the asking price for his boat. On leaving the shop, the boy looked admiringly at his boat and said "Now you are mine twice over. I made you, and now I have bought you back again. I have redeemed you."

That is a picture of what God has done for us. He made us and therefore owns us, but because of our sin we became lost and separated from Him. But in His love, God sent Jesus to buy us back, to redeem us. And the price Jesus paid? - His own blood that He shed on the cross. So although at Christmas we remember the coming of Jesus to earth, we must also think of Easter and remember the purpose of His coming, to redeem us to God.

O.L. - Receiving Jesus.

This is an illustration that I use following teaching on John 3.16. All you need is a small gift. I usually make a balloon animal (as the gift) while I am talking about it.

State that John 3.16 talks about a giver (God), a gift (Jesus) and a receiver (Us). No matter how wonderful any gift is, it will not do you any good unless you receive it. I have a gift here (produce or begin to make your gift), but unless you receive it, it is no good to you at all.

Some of you may say "I don't want your gift" Well, if you don't want it, you won't get it, because I will not force you to take it.

Some of you may say "I don't believe it. It's too good to be true. Teacher must be tricking us." Well, if you don't believe it, you can't receive it.

Some of you may say " I will think about it" There is nothing wrong in thinking about the gift, but all the time you are thinking about it, it is not yours and it is not doing you any good.

Some of you may say. " I will have to earn the gift. I will have to sit up straight, be really quiet and still, and then perhaps "teacher" will notice me and give me the gift because I deserve it." Well, I like you behaving that way, but that's not the way to get the gift because it can never be earned.

But one of you may simply say to himself / herself " Yes, I want that gift," and get up, walk out to the front, take hold of the gift, and it will be theirs.

It is exactly the same with God's gift of Jesus Christ to the world - and the Eternal Life He brings with him.

Some people say to God "I don't want your gift of Jesus. I want to live my own life, go my own way, do my own thing." Much as God still loves them (they are still part of the world) He won't force His gift of Jesus on anyone. We must choose to receive Him.

Some people say. "I don't believe in the gift. I don't believe in Jesus. I don't even believe in God." Well, if you don't believe, you can't receive.

Some people say. "I will think about the gift. Perhaps when I am older I might receive God's gift." There is nothing wrong with thinking about the gift, but the problem is many people never make up their minds, and so always miss out on what God wants to give them.

Some people ( in fact most people ) think they have to earn God's gift. They say. " I will have to be very good. I will not have to do anything bad. I will have to go to Church or Sunday school every week. I will have to say my prayers and read my Bible every day. Then, perhaps, God will be really pleased with me and give me His gift of Jesus." These are good things to do, but you can never earn God's gift.

But some people say "Yes, I want to receive Jesus into my life," and do so by faith - by simply asking God for His gift of Jesus, and believing that they receive Him.

At this point, you will probably still be holding your gift - unless there is someone very smart in your group who has taken you at your word and received it already! You will probably have to keep prompting until someone comes out and receives it. You could say:-

"Well, it is still here."
"I wonder who will be first to believe me. All you have to do is take it."
"You won't get it by thinking about it, or by sitting up straight, but someone could come out and receive it."

When someone receives your gift, state that they didn't deserve it or earn it, but they got it because they were the first to believe that all they had to do was take it.

Conclude by stating that unfortunately you only had one gift, but the good news is that there is enough of God's gift of Jesus for everyone. There is no need for anyone to miss out.
If appropriate, you could then lead your group in a prayer to receive Jesus.

O.L. - The Christmas tree.

If you have a decorated Christmas tree in your classroom, you can use it as an object lesson to teach some important Christian truths. If not, a picture of a Christmas tree would suffice.

The tree. This reminds us of our sin. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus died on a tree to take away our sins.

The point. This points heavenwards, reminding us that Jesus came from heaven to be our Saviour.

The Angel. Reminds us that it was an Angel that brought the first Christmas message to some Shepherds, "Fear not, for I bring good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord." (Luke 2.10,11).

The star. Reminds us that God sent a special star to guide the wise men to the baby Jesus.

The lights. Jesus came to give light to those in darkness, and guide us on our way to heaven.

The decorations. Remind us of the beauty of everlasting life obtained through faith in Jesus.

Depository for gifts. (Usually underneath the tree). Reminds us of the first and best Christmas gift - Jesus Christ, God's gift to the world. We are also reminded that for any gift to benefit us, we need to receive it. If we don't personally receive Jesus into our lives then, as far as we are concerned, He might as well never have come to earth.

T.T. - Symbols of Christmas.

At Christmas time we come across many symbols that remind us of the true message of the season. Here are some of them.

1. The Christmas tree.

This reminds us of our sin. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus died on a tree to take away our sins by redeeming us from the curse of the law.

Evergreen. The Christmas tree is evergreen, which reminds us of the everlasting life Christ offers all who come to him.

The point. This points heavenwards, reminding us that Jesus came from heaven to be our Saviour.

The Angel. Reminds us that it was an Angel that brought the first Christmas message to some Shepherds, "Fear not, for I bring good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord." (Luke 2.10,11).

The star. Reminds us that God sent a special star to guide the wise men to the baby Jesus.

The lights. Jesus came to give light to those in darkness, and guide us on our way to heaven.

The decorations. Remind us of the beauty of everlasting life obtained through faith in Jesus.

Depository for gifts. (Usually underneath the tree). Reminds us of the first and best Christmas gift - Jesus Christ, God's gift to the world. We are also reminded that for any gift to benefit us, we need to receive it. If we don't personally receive Jesus into our lives then, as far as we are concerned, He might as well never have come to earth.

2. Bells.

Bells are traditionally rung to announce good news. And there is no better news than God sending His Son to earth on that first Christmas day. They are also rung to announce new beginnings, This reminds us of our beginning a new life in Christ.

3. Holly.

The points of the holly leaf remind us that our salvation was obtained through pain, and the red berries remind us of Christ's blood shed for us.

4. Santa Claus.

This reminds us of God's generosity to us. St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a third century Bishop who lived in Turkey. He was a generous man who gave gifts to people anonymously - hence his habit of dropping presents down people's chimneys!

5. The wreath.

The Christmas wreath's never ending ring is a reminder of God's eternal love for us. A wreath on a door is a sign of welcome, inviting all to enter in. This reminds us of Christ's invitation for all to come to Him. The middle of the wreath is a bare and empty space - a reminder of what life would be without Christ's love and grace.

6. Christmas candy.

The red and white striped Christmas candy is a reminder of the stripes Jesus took for us. The red is a symbol for His blood, and the white for the spotless New Life He gives us.

T.T. - The Twelve days of Christmas.

The popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptised person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

Note. The "Twelve days" refer to the days between Christmas day and Epiphany (Three Kings day) on January 6th.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear TreeThe partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Two Turtle DovesThe Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Three French HensThe Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling BirdsThe Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Five Gold RingsThe first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Six Geese A-layingThe six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Swans A-swimmingThe seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eight Maids A-milkingThe eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Nine Ladies DancingThe nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Ten Lords A-leapingThe ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eleven Pipers PipingThe eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers DrummingThe twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Puppet play - "What is Christmas all about".

When I do puppet plays, I usually record the script beforehand - using different 'character' voices, and then play it back while children operate the (glove) puppets. This way I am able to 'watch' the entire group, and also have a puppet/human dialogue if required. For this play, you will need one animal (I use a sheep) and four 'human' puppets. Write the word "Christmas" on a large piece of paper, and display it in a prominent position.


Host. Today we are going to ask the very important question "What is Christmas all about?" But firstly, let me introduce you to my panel of guests. Let's give a big welcome for my first guest - Miss know it all.

Miss Know it all. Thank you for inviting me onto your show. I am Miss know it all, so you only have to ask me the question, because I know everything.

Host. Well, we will see about that a little later. But secondly, let me introduce Mr. Don't know a lot.

Mr. Don't know a lot. Don't be fooled by my name, because actually I know heaps and heaps of things. So ask me the question, and I will give you the right answer.

Host. Thank you Mr. Don't Know a lot. Our next guest is Mr. Remember well.

Mr. Remember well. As you can tell by my name, I remember everything. So ask me the question, and I will give you the answer.

Host. Thank you Mr. Remember well. Our final guest is Mr. Shaun the sheep. Say "hello" Shaun.

Shaun. Baa Baa.

Host. Thank you Shaun, If we have time, I will ask Shaun his opinion, but really I don't think he will be much help at all. The question then is "What is Christmas all about?" I am going to save us all some time because I know the answer myself. Christmas is all about money. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but only because Mary and Joseph had to go there to register to pay their taxes to Caesar. So that's the answer - Money. That's why my mum and dad are always complaining what an expensive time of the year Christmas is with so many presents to buy. But, to be fair, I will ask my guests if they have any other opinions. Miss Know it all. Do you know what Christmas is all about?

Miss Know it all. I certainly do. It's not about money you silly old fool. Christmas is all about Food. When Jesus was born, he was placed in a Manger - which is a cattle's eating trough. So that is why people eat so much at Christmas, like Turkey, Christmas pudding and lots of chocolate. So that's the answer to your question - Food.

Host. Thank you Miss Know it all. Remind me not to invite you back on my show. Now, Mr. Don't know a lot, do you know what Christmas is all about?

Mr. Don't know a lot. Well, it's not about money or food. No, Christmas is all about Singing. After Jesus was born, Angels appeared to some Shepherds and they began to sing "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men." So that is the answer - Singing. That is why groups go out carol singing today.

Host. Thank you Mr. Don't know a lot. That was certainly a very "interesting" answer. Mr. Remember well. Do you remember what Christmas is all about?

Mr. Remember well. I certainly do. You should have asked me first, because I remember the answer to the question. Christmas is all about Presents. After Jesus was born, some wise men brought gifts of gold, incense and myrrh to Him. That is why people exchange gifts at Christmas today. So the answer is Presents.

Host. Thank you Mr. Remember well. Finally, I suppose we should ask our last guest Shaun the sheep if he has any opinion. Shaun. Do you know what Christmas is all about?

Shaun. Baa. Baa.

Host. Come along Shaun, give us your answer.

Shaun. Baa. Baa. I need a volunteer to help me.

Self. (Holding up your hand). I will be your volunteer Shaun. My hand was the first to be raised. What would you like me to do?

Shaun. Do you see that paper with "Christmas" written on it?

Self. Yes, I see it.

Shaun. Write out the fifth and sixth letters.

Self. ok.(Counting and writing). I have done that Shaun. What next?

Shaun. Now write out the first six letters.

Self. (Counting and writing) I have done that as well Shaun.

Shaun. That is the answer to our question - "Christmas is Christ."

You may then wish to conclude by recapping on what Christmas is and what Christmas is not all about.

Story - "I give you me!"

A teacher wanted to teach his pupils the real meaning of "Christmas". He explained that Christmas was Jesus' birthday, and that as it was customary to give a gift to people on their birthday, he asked all the children to bring in a gift for Jesus on that special day. He explained that he would like the children to all think hard about their gift and that it should be a one that would be worthy to give to Jesus, the Son of God and Saviour of the world.

The teacher placed a large box in the centre of the classroom and, as the children arrived - many of them obviously carrying a gift - , asked them to come out one at a time and place their gift for Jesus in the empty box.

Matthew was the first to come forward, and the other children gasped to see him pushing his bicycle towards the box. Everyone knew how much Matthew loved his bike. He had been saving up for it for months, and after he finally had enough to buy it just a few weeks ago, he was seen riding it for hour after hour. Surely Matthew wasn't going to give his precious bike away? But no. Matthew lifted his bike into the box, clasped his hands together and prayed "Jesus, I give you my bike."

Next to come forward was Amanda. Again their was a gasp from the other children as they saw her carrying her favourite Barbie doll. She was rarely seen without her precious Barbie doll. But she placed it in the box and prayed "Jesus, I give you my Barbie doll."

Next up was Big Joe. Everyone knew how much Joe liked chocolate. But there he was, carrying, a large box of chocolates to give to Jesus. How hard that must have been for Joe to give his chocolates away. And so it went on. Each child had obviously thought long and hard about their gift and gave up something that they were bound to miss.

Finally, there was only Poor Jimmy left. He was know as 'Poor Jimmy' because he obviously was very poor. He never seemed to wear any nice clothes, or have very much in his lunch box. In fact, sometimes, he didn't bring any lunch with him at all. It was said that his father had died, and that his mother didn't have much money to look after Jimmy and his brothers and sisters. What sort of gift would Jimmy give to Jesus?

"It's your turn now, Jimmy" said the teacher. "Bring your gift to Jesus." Slowly, Jimmy got up and started walking towards the box. A few children giggled and whispered "He's not got anything. Look. There is nothing in his hands. Jimmy is carrying nothing to give to Jesus." Eventually Jimmy arrived at the box. He hesitated for a moment, and then jumped right into the box and sat down. "Jimmy, What on earth are you doing" asked the teacher. But Jimmy just put his hands together and prayed "Jesus, I give you me! I give all of my life to you."

Question. Which of those children gave the best gift to Jesus? That's right, Jimmy did.

Jesus told us that when we are giving to others, we are actually giving to Him. Some people give money to Jesus (Perhaps when they give to the church offering, or to a charity), some give up some of their time or talents (abilities) to help others. And that is good. But what Jesus wants each one of us to give to him is all of our Lives, just like Jimmy did. He gave his life for us, and he wants us to give All of our lives back to him. He will never be satisfied with a little bit of our money, time, talents, or anything else we can offer him. No, He wants All of us.

What does this mean in practice? It means living for Jesus. It means putting Him first all the time. It means that our attitude should be not, "What is best for me, or what do I want to do?" but rather "What is best for Jesus. What does He want me to do?" That is giving yourself to Jesus.

Prayer. "Jesus, I give all of my life to you. I may not have a lot, but what I do have, I give it all to you. Help me to use my money, time, talents and everything else I have in a way that pleases you. Amen."

Craft - Making a 'fun' Christmas card.

Get your children to make 'fun' Christmas (or Easter) cards. These are quite easy to make, and all they will need is a sheet of A4 paper, a pair of scissors and some crayons.

I will first describe the finished card, and then tell you how to lead your children in making them. Written on the front are the words "Guess What?" in large coloured letters. On the back are the words "To _______ " and "From ________" , again in large coloured letters, but leaving enough space for the children to write a personal message if they wish to do so. When the card is opened, it shows the face of an animal or bird with a large mouth or beak at the centre. As you partially open and close the card, the mouth or beak will close and open in three dimensions, displaying your Christmas message in the centre of the mouth, e.g. "Christmas is Christ" or "Happy Christmas"

Note. When the card is fully closed, the mouth will be fully open. When the card is fully open, the mouth will be fully closed.

Instructions. I get my children to follow me step by step as I make a sample card. Most of the older ones manage this fairly well, though some younger children may need personal help.

Take your blank paper and fold it lengthwise. About 3 ins. from the top of the folded paper make a single straight cut about 2 ins. long (cutting from the folded edge). This will be the basis for the animal's mouth. From this cut, fold the paper upwards, making a good crease as you do so. In a similar way, fold the paper downwards from the cut. Experience will show you how far up and down to fold the paper, as this will determine the size of the animal's mouth. You should now have a 'V' shape.

Next, unfold the mouth and open up the paper back to it's original A4 size. Fold the paper down from top to bottom and then from side to side. You will now have your basic card shape. Write "Guess What" on the front, and "To ______" and "From ______" on the back. These will eventually be coloured in, but I usually leave this part until the end when I am also colouring in the animal's face.

Next, the 'tricky' part. This sounds a little complicated, but it is really quite easy to do with a little practice. Open up the card to display the animal's mouth. Place your middle finger inside the upper mouth and hold it there. Place your thumb and first finger on each side of the upper mouth and squeeze the card, which will obviously begin to close. Just before the card is completely closed, remove your thumb and fingers and complete the closing by pressing firmly on both the front and back of the card. When you now open and close the card, the upper mouth should automatically close and open. Repeat the whole procedure for the lower mouth.

Next, partially open the mouth and mark the centre with a pencil dot. This will enable you to centre the Christmas message, which is only revealed as the mouth is opening. Fully open up your card back to the A4 size and write your message, centred around the pencil dot.

Finally complete the drawing and colouring of the animal's or bird's face, centred around the mouth. This is where the children can use their own imagination. I was once given a beautiful card made like this, but showing an Angel (complete with wings and halo!) instead of an animal or bird.

Elimination quiz - Christmas.

Note. Children that give a wrong answer are eliminated. Children who give a correct answer stay in. Continue until there are only a few left.

1. In what town was Jesus born? A. Bethlehem. B. Nazareth.
2. What country is Bethlehem in? A. Egypt. B. Israel.
3. What was the name of Jesus' mother? A. Elizabeth. B. Mary.
4. Who was the father of Jesus? A. Joseph. B. God.
5. What was the name of Mary's husband? A. John. B. Joseph.
6. In what type of building was Jesus born? A. An inn. B. A stable.
7. What was Jesus placed in after he was born? A. A bed. B. A manger.
8. What is a Manger? A. A cattle's eating or drinking trough. B. A place for storing straw.
9. Who first announced the birth of Jesus? A. Angels. B. The King.
10. To whom did the Angels announce the birth of Jesus to? A. The wise men. B. Some shepherds.
11. How many wise men were there? A. Three. B. We don't know.
12. How did the wise men find out where Jesus was? A. They followed a star. B. The shepherds told them.
13. How many gifts did the wise men bring? A. Three. B. Five.
14. About how long ago was Jesus born? A. 2,000 years. B. 10,000 years.
15. Why was Jesus born? A. To teach us about God. B. To die for our sins.
16. Is Jesus alive today? A. Yes. B. No.

O. L.  Christmas Symbols - The Candy Cane.
The Candy cane is a well known symbol of Christmas. It is ideal for teaching children about Christmas because it is widely available and inexpensive. Having used it in your teaching, you could give candy canes out to all the children as treats.
The origin of the candy cane goes back over 350 years to Germany when people began to boil sugar to produce straight white sticks. Thus, the original candy was straight and completely white in colour.
Over the years the candy cane has been adapted to become a Christmas symbol.
1. Wide red stripes were added to the white cane. These represent the blood of Jesus who died for our sins.
2. Canes were now made in their present "J" form to remind us of Jesus. Turned around, the cane is now like a shepherd's crook - To remind us that Jesus is the "Good Shepherd" who leads us and gave up His life for us.
3. As well as broad stripes most candy canes now also have three thinner stripes. These remind us of Jesus' stripes that He took on his body for us just prior to his crucifixion. They also remind us of the Trinity - God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
4. Some candy canes now also have different coloured stripes as well as the red, especially Green and / or Purple. The Green stripes remind us of the New Life we have in Jesus, and that He wants us to grow to become more like Himself. The Purple stripes remind us that Jesus is our King.