Christmas was over. The new toys were put away. Boxes and wrapping paper were waiting at the curb for the garbage truck.
Mom was busy storing decorations for next year, and Sara was helping her. Dad was taking down the outside lights with Derek’s help. Mark was in his baby swing, kicking his feet. Six-year-old Tegan stood by the nativity set, looking at baby Jesus. A question was growing in her mind, but everyone was too busy to answer it.
“Tegan, please pick up your toys,” Mom said. “We’d like to have the house nice for family home evening.” Tegan thought about her question as she laid her dolls carefully in their beds. She thought some more as she put away the doll clothes and the small dishes that had been Christmas gifts. At dinner she barely noticed what she was eating. She was struggling with her question.
The family home evening lesson that night was about Jesus feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fishes. Tegan liked hearing stories about Jesus, but her question was just too big to bear any longer. She raised her hand and waved it.
Mom smiled. “What is it, dear?”
Tegan’s question came bursting out. “Which one is the real one?”
Dad looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“Well, there’s baby Jesus we talk about at Christmas, and then there’s grown-up Jesus we hear about the rest of the year. Which one is the real one?”
Dad looked at Mom and then at Tegan. “That’s a good question,” he said. “The answer is that they’re the same person. Not much has been written about Jesus as a child or a teenager, but He had to grow up like everyone else. He probably learned to be a carpenter from Joseph. And we know that He read the scriptures, so he must have learned to read when he was young, just like you’re doing. In time, the Christ child grew into a man and became our Savior. At Christmas we remember His birth, but He’s not a baby anymore. There is only one Jesus Christ, and He is the Son of God.”
Tegan smiled. Her question was answered.
Merry Christmas! Game
This game will provide hours of holiday fun for you and your family.
Photocopy or trace the game boards and pieces on these two pages. Make as many copies as there will be players in the game. Then glue pages 32–33 and the copies to heavy paper.
Color the pictures.
Cut out each game card and its set of picture squares.
Glue the Merry Christmas! picture from each set to the center square of each game card.
Give each player a game card, a set of pictures, and 25 buttons, dried beans, or other small objects to use as markers.
How to Play
A player is chosen to be the caller. He or she puts a set of pictures into a bowl.
Each of the other players puts a picture on each of the remaining squares of his or her game card in whatever order he or she chooses.
Each player puts a marker on the free Merry Christmas! square on his or her game card. The caller draws a picture from the bowl, holds it up, and calls it out. Each player puts a marker on that picture on his or her game card.
The caller continues drawing out one picture at a time until a player covers five pictures in a row—vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. That player calls out, “Merry Christmas!” and wins the round. A different player then takes a turn as caller, and a new round begins. Pictures can be rearranged at the beginning of each round, if desired.
Illustrated by Brad Teare