Today we learnt about Christmas. First we heard from classmates about festivals in their countries – the Spring Festival in China and the Spring Festival in Iran. This was very interesting!
We also found out that in China Christmas is starting to be celebrated among younger people with Christmas trees, Santa, decorations and presents. In Iran it is celebrated only by Christians.
The first Christmas
We read the story of the first Christmas (about 2000 years ago) together. This is from the Bible. You can read ‘An Angel tells about the Birth of Jesus’ here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1&version=CEV.
Then try reading ‘The Birth of Jesus’ and ‘The Shepherds’: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2&version=CEV. Here’s a picture: mary, joseph and baby
Then you can read about ‘The Wise Men’ here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+2&version=CEV.
Hope you enjoy it!
Key words about Christmas
Angel (messenger from God)
Mary (Jesus’ mother)
Joseph (Mary’s husband)
Bethlehem (the town Jesus was born in)
Nativity (means ‘birth’)- you can see ‘Nativity scenes’ in shopping centres in Australia showing Mary, Joseph, the baby, the shepherds, the star and the wise men. I brought along a Nativity Scene to class. Christmas cards also often have Nativity scenes on them.
Saviour (someone who saves or rescues people – in the Bible it means someone who rescues people so they can be forgiven by God and live a new life with God)
Prophet (someone who tells the future, or gives a ‘prophecy’. In the Bible it means someone who speaks words from God)
Now we know why you often see Angels and stars on the top of a Christmas tree!
Christmas in Australia
In Australia many people don’t know much about the first Christmas. Christmas in Australia is about presents, family, children and food! Children are told about Santa Claus (orginally a Christian holy person called Saint Nicholas) who they believe lives in the North Pole and comes to give them presents on Christmas Eve (December 24th). He rides a sleigh pulled by reindeer and comes down the chimney. When I was young I was worried that our chimney was too small! Lots of children leave out some carrots for the reindeer and a glass of milk and biscuit for Santa. They are thrilled in the morning when they have been eaten! Children leave out a sock or stocking and in the morning it is full of sweets.
On Christmas day (25th December) most people have a big meal with their families. This includes roast turkey, baked ham, roast veggies (Australian for ‘vegetables’), Christmas pudding. Some families have seafood and pavlova (favourite Australian dessert). Next week we plan to try doing some Christmas cooking!
On Boxing day (26th December) there is the tradition of the Boxing Day Test Match – a game of cricket which people go to watch and relax.
There are also the Boxing Day Sales – the big shops have big sales and huge crowds almost run over each other trying to get in the doors!
Finally there is the Sydney to Hobart yacht race – see http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/editorial.asp?key=527
Lots of people in Melbourne will go down to the beach for a holiday, so the roads will be full of cars!
You are invited to Christmas carols
Lots of Australians still enjoy singing Christmas carols (special songs about Christmas that we only sing at Christmas time). This year, we will be going to the City of Whitehorse Christmas carols (with candles) on the evening of Sunday 13th December. See http://www.whitehorse.vic.gov.au/Carols-by-Candlelight.html Everyone from our classes is invited. It should be great fun!
You are also all invited to Carols in the Carpark at Station Street (where we have our classes) at 6pm on the evening of Sunday 20th December.
Finally you are all welcome to come to a family Carol service at Station Street at 7pm on Thursday 24th December (Christmas Eve).
If you go to all 3 you will learn the carols really well!
An invitation to Christmas at church
You are all invited to experience something of Christmas at our church here where we have our classes. On Sunday December 13th at 10am there is a family Christmas musical. My children will be in it! It will be a special fun church service for families and children, with music and songs telling about the Christmas story.
On Thursday 24th December at 11pm is a special Christmas Eve service. You will hear some of the Bible that we read today and sing some Christmas carols. Everyone will be excited about Christmas tomorrow.
On Christmas day 25th December at 8am and 10am there will be Christmas services here. Everyone is welcome to come and experience Christmas at church Australian-style.