For Little Friends

By Beverly Webecke Ahlstrom

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    Saying Good-Bye

    Abound in love one toward another (1 Thes. 3:12).

    At Christmastime Cynthia, Richard, Gerald, Mom, and Dad went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The children helped set up the stable like the one where Baby Jesus was born, sang Christmas carols, and opened presents.

    A few days after Christmas, Dad said, “It’s time to go home.”

    Grandpa and Grandma looked sad.

    “Mommy,” Cynthia said, “why are Grandma and Grandpa so sad?”

    “Because they will miss us when we go home.”

    Cynthia went to find Grandma, who was helping Gerald pack his clothes.

    “Grandma,” Cynthia said, “will you be happy if I leave some of my toys? You can play with them till we come back.”

    “Thank you, honey,” said Grandma. “I will miss you, not your toys.” She gave Cynthia a big hug.

    Cynthia wondered how she could help Grandma and Grandpa be happy. Suddenly she remembered how happy Dad was when Mom put notes in his lunch sack. She ran and whispered to Gerald and Richard and gave them each some pieces of paper. Richard sat on the floor and wrote and wrote and wrote. Gerald drew pictures because he was too little to write.

    “Mommy,” said Cynthia, “how do you spell love?”

    “L-o-v-e,” Mom told her.

    When Cynthia finished writing, she tiptoed into the living room. She hid one of her notes on Grandpa’s chair. She put another note in the piano bench. She even put two in Grandma’s slippers under the couch. Then she tiptoed quietly out.

    Richard waited in the hall until Grandpa left the kitchen. Then he scurried in and put one note in the cracker box, one on top of the forks, and one in an apron pocket. He also put notes in the refrigerator and the pantry.

    Meanwhile, Gerald was in Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom. He put all his picture-notes under their pillows for them to find when they went to bed.

    Soon Dad and Mom were bundling them into their coats. “Kiss Grandma and Grandpa good-bye and get in the car!” said Dad.

    Grandpa kept saying, “I’m going to miss all of you. I’m really going to miss you!” He looked like he was already missing them, and they hadn’t even gone yet!

    Grandma kissed all the kids and Mom and Dad too. “Remember to write me,” she told them.

    Cynthia, Richard, and Gerald started to giggle.

    “What’s so funny?” asked Grandma.

    “You’ll see,” Cynthia told her, grinning from ear to ear. “We left love notes for you all over the house.”

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney

    Christmas Snack

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    3 tablespoons chopped apple

    4 tablespoons peanut butter

    2 teaspoons honey

    6 ribs of celery, 5″ (13 cm) long

    6 slices of cheese

    1. 1.

      Stir the apple into the lemon juice, then drain off the lemon juice.

    2. 2.

      Stir together the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of the apple, and the honey.

    3. 3.

      Fill the celery ribs with the mixture.

    4. 4.

      Cut out shapes in cheese with cookie cutters. Place a shape on one end of each celery rib.

    5. 5.

      Sprinkle the rest of the chopped apple over the celery.

    Tin Foil Chains

    Cut tin foil into strips. Shape the strips into loops, and link them together. Make the loops and the chain as large as you like. Large chains work well outdoors.

    Lollipop Reindeer

    To make a lollipop reindeer, you will need: scissors; brown, black, and red felt; a plastic spoon; a lollipop; and ribbon.

    1. 1.

      Cut out two three-pronged, brown felt antlers, then glue them inside the top of the bowl of the spoon (see illustration).

    2. 2.

      Cut out two black eyes and a red nose, and glue them on the outside of the bowl of the spoon, as shown.

    3. 3.

      Fit the lollipop inside the bowl of the spoon, and tie them snugly together with the ribbon.

    4. 4.

      Use the reindeer as a gift, a tree ornament, or a package decoration.

    Cinnamon and Spice Freshener

    To make a freshener, you will need: two 9″ (23 cm) squares of nylon net, 1 tablespoon cloves, 1 cinnamon stick broken into small pieces, and ribbon.

    1. 1.

      Place one square of the nylon net on top of the other.

    2. 2.

      Put the cloves and the cinnamon in the center of the net, gather the net up around the spices, tie it closed with a piece of ribbon, and decorate with a bow (see illustration).

    3. 3.

      The freshener can be used as a gift, a tree ornament, or a decoration.

    Let It Snow

    To make a snow-jar gift, you will need: a small, clean glass jar with a screw-on lid; paint and a brush; waterproof glue; a small plastic animal or object; scissors; and a white plastic bag (or glitter).

    1. 1.

      Paint the lid and let it dry.

    2. 2.

      Glue the animal or object in the middle of the inside of the lid, and let it dry.

    3. 3.

      Cut enough of the bag into tiny pieces to completely cover the bottom of the jar. Glitter can be used instead of plastic.

    4. 4.

      Fill the jar to its neck with water, then screw the lid on tightly. To make the jar even more leakproof, spread waterproof glue around the inside rim of the lid before screwing it on.

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney