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The Christmas Story

As told by Matthew

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version



You will need:

2 Liter plastic soda bottle
White and black acrylic paint
Sponge brush
Fine grain sand paper
Red and black felt
Pipe cleaners - Christmas colors
Craft glue
Plastic spray can lid (spray starch, or similar size)
Plastic tub lid (butter tub or similar size)
Sand the surface of the bottle, spray can lid and tub lid. This will allow the acrylic paint to adhere to the surface.
Paint the spray can lid and tub lid black. Paint the bottle white. Allow to dry.
Cover the top and sides of the spray can lid and the top of the tub lid with black felt. Since you've painted them black, you don't need to be too precise with the felt. Center, and glue the spray can lid to the tub lid. You now have your snowman's hat. When the glue has dried, turn the hat over and cut a small hole in the bottom with an exacto knife. Make the hole a little smaller than the circumference of the top of the hat.
Fill the bottle about halfway with pebbles, sand or dirt. This will help keep your snowman from falling over.
Cut a strip of red felt about 2 feet long and 1" - 1 1/2" wide. (If your felt came in 12" squares, just cut two strips and glue the ends together. Tie this around the bottle, about 3-4" down from the top. Secure with a dab of glue.
Make earmuffs using 3 pipe cleaners. Two of them will be coiled to make the actual "muffs". The third will be the band attaching them. (Attach the pipe cleaners by twisting the ends together.) Drape the earmuffs across the back/top of the bottle. Secure with craft glue.
Attach the hat to the bottle by running a bit of glue around the inside of the hole and then place the hat over the top of the lid. Decorate the hat with a pipe cleaner.
Draw a face using a black marking pen or black paint. Draw buttons under the scarf, or glue on black felt circles.

You will need:
clean white sock
cotton balls
black felt
fabric scrap
yarn or ribbon
pom pons
needle & thread
Stuff the sock with cotton balls up to the cuff. Turn the cuff down to make
the snowman's hat. Cut a strip of fabric for the scarf and tie it underneath
the heel of the sock to make the head. Cut eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons
out of the black felt and glue them in place. If you use a small child's sock
the snowman will be just the right size to hang on the tree. Take a piece of
yarn or ribbon and sew or glue the ends to the inside back of the cuff (hat.
You can then glue a pom pon to the top of the hat. Hot glue works best. but
Hang snowman and enjoy!

baby food jars
permafrost glitter-solid white color
mini ornaments- can be found at dollar store
epoxy cement
Glue the mini ornaments to the inside of the lid of the clean baby food jar.
Let the glue set for a while before continuing. Fill the jar with water and
sprinkle in some of the permafrost glitter. Apply some of the epoxy around
the rim of the jar. Screw on the lid and shake.

16 oz jar of applesauce
8 oz cinnamon
1 oz of allspice, nutmeg or cloves
Combine a 16 oz. jar of applesauce, 8 oz. or more of cinnamon,
and 1 oz. of either allspice, nutmeg or cloves. Combine all ingredients
and mix well. Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness rolling between
plastic wrap works well). Cut out the ornaments. While
dough is still wet, poke a hole in each ornament
poke two holes if stringing as garland. Air dry flat,
turning daily to dry evenly. Mini cookie cutters make cute
ornaments too!! These can also be strung together with string, jute, or homespun fabric to make a garland.



1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
Microwave for 3 minutes. Add nuts and pour into buttered pan. Wallah! Quick, simple and very tasty!

1 c Soft butter
2/3 c Sugar
2 tb Vanilla
2 Eggs
3 c Flour
1/2 ts Salt
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar. Gradually stir in vanilla.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Blend in flour and salt. Mix well.

Wrap dough and chill for at least 2 hours.

Lightly flour a pastry cloth and rolling pin. Roll dough to about 1/8" thickness.

Cut into desired shape. Place 1" apart on cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Cool, frost and decorate. Makes 5 dozen.

2 ts Cinnamon
1 ts Ground cloves
2 c Sugar
1/2 c Instant tea w/twist of lemon
18 oz Jar of Tang Juice Mix

Mix together all the ingredients and store in air-tight container.
Add 2 heaping teaspoons for each mug of boiling water for tea.

2 c Flour; sifted
1/4 c Sugar
1/2 ts Salt
1 c Butter
2 ts Vanilla
2 c Pecans; finely chopped
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 Degrees.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and vanilla. Add the pecans and mix well.
Shape into 1" balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for about 25 minutes.
Roll in powdered sugar while warm. Store in tin box separated by layers of wax paper.

2 c Flour
1/4 c Packed brown sugar
2 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 c Margarine
1/4 c Chopped nuts
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Milk
Powdered Sugar Icing:
2 c powdered sugar
2 to 3 tb milk
Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
Stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the nuts. Combine the egg and milk. Stir into the flour mixture until just moistened.
On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into a 10 x 7" rectangle. Cut crosswise into 1" wide strips. Twist each strip by holding both ends. Bend one end to form candy cane shape.
Place candy canes several inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully remove to a wire rack to cool.
Frost with the Powdered Sugar Icing.
Makes 10 candy canes.
Powdered Sugar Icing:
In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and enough milk to make the icing easy to drizzle over the candy canes.



Write names of Christmas characters (i.e. Kris Kringle, The Grinch, Wise Man, etc.) on masking tape and put them on peoples backs when they come in. They are to ask only yes or no questions to others at the party in order to figure out who they are. They are only allowed to ask one question each person at the party (this causes them to have to mingle and meet others). Goal is to figure out who you are.

Everyone brings a "gift" which is really an item you find in your home or garage that you dont want and that you wrap up as a gift. You put all the gifts in a pile then people line up. The first person picks a gift and opens it, the next person can either take the first persons gift or pick a new one. This continues on down the line until you reach the last person who has the choice of all the gifts or the last gift. Key: Everyone must bring a gift so you might want to have some extra wrapped gifts on hand in case someone forgets to bring their gift.

Everyone is asked to bring an ornament and decorate the Christmas Tree.

A Good game to get people talking together at the start of the party
Collect a set of pictures of your town / locality / personalities etc. and display them on the wall with a number. The guests have to identify them and write the name on a sheet of paper. The winner is the one with the highest score



20 ways to confuse Santa
1. Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad, and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.

2. While he's in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.

3. Leave him a note, explaining that you've gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.

4. While he's in the house, replace all his reindeer with exact replicas. Then wait and see what happens when he tries to get them to fly.

5. Keep an angry bull in your living room. If you think a bull goes crazy when he sees a little red cape, wait until he sees that big, red Santa suit!

6. Build an army of mean-looking snowmen on the roof, holding signs that say "We hate Christmas," and "Go away Santa."

7. Leave a note by the telephone, telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.

8. Throw a surprise party for Santa when he comes down the chimney.

9. While he's in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn't have missed that last payment, and take off.

10. Leave a plate filled with cookies and a glass of milk out, with a note that says, "For The Tooth Fairy. :)" Leave another plate out with half a stale cookie and a few drops of skim milk in a dirty glass with a note that says, "For Santa. :("

11. Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, "Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime."
12. Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.

13.While he's in the house, cover the top of the chimney with barbed wire.

14. Leave lots of hunting trophies and guns out where Santa's sure to see them. Go outside, yell, "Ooh! Look! A deer! And he's got a red nose!" and fire a gun.

15. Leave Santa a note, explaining that you've moved. Include a map with unclear and hard-to-read directions to your new house.

16. Set a bear trap at the bottom of the chimney. Wait for Santa to get caught in it, and then explain that you're sorry, but from a distance, he looked like a bear.

17. Leave out a Santa suit, with a dry-cleaning bill.

18. Paint "hoof-prints" all over your face and clothes. While he's in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you've been "trampled." Threaten to sue.

19. Instead of ornaments, decorate your tree with Easter eggs.

20. Dress up like the Easter Bunny. Wait for Santa to come and then say, "This neighborhood ain't big enough for the both of us."

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
So he can ho-ho-ho.

Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
Because he had low elf esteem.

What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmastime?
Sandy Claus!

How do sheep in Mexico say Merry Christmas?
Fleece Navidad!

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

How come you never hear anything about the 10th reindeer 'Olive'? Olive? Yeah, you know, "Olive the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names..."



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