Christmas Star

There shall a new star arise (Hel. 14:5).

“I wanted to be Mary, Mommy,” Elizabeth said. “But Julie gets to be Mary, and I’m only the star.”

Mom smiled down at Elizabeth as they walked to the car in the church parking lot. “Well, dear, Julie is six, and you are only four.”

The edges of Elizabeth’s mouth pulled down into a frown. “But Julie gets to wear a pretty blue blanket on her head and hold a real-live baby.”

“Mary was a very brave and good woman,” Mom said. “I can see why you would want to be her. But I think you have the perfect part for you!”

“The star?”

“Yes. You see, whenever anything happens, you are the first to tell everyone. Just yesterday you ran in and told me that Mr. Allen had fallen on his steps. And because you were such a good helper by telling me, I was able to go over and help him into his house.”

Elizabeth grinned. She felt happy when Mom was extra-pleased with her. “But how is that like the Christmas star?”

“Well, many of the people in Bethlehem did not know that Jesus Christ had been born. The beautiful star sparkling in the sky told the whole world that the Savior had been born.”

“And the Wise Men saw it too!”

“That’s right. And even the people in the Book of Mormon who lived far away saw the star.”

“Wow! The whole world saw the star shining!”

Mom smiled at Elizabeth’s glowing face. “See, you do have an important part next Sunday. What greater message is there than the message of the Savior’s birth?”

Elizabeth sat quietly in the car, thinking for a while. Then she said, “Mommy, I’m going to practice smiling so big that everyone will see that I’m the Christmas star and know I’m happy because Jesus Christ was born.”

If Only It Would Snow

If only it would snow!
What castles I could make!
And I could rocket down the hills
Without the need to brake.
If only it would snow!
What snowballs I could throw!
What circus animals I’d carve,
Performing in a show. …
If only it would snow!

Chain of Love

To make this gift, you will need: scissors, red construction paper, a ruler, a pen, 6″ (15 cm) red thread, and a needle.

  1. 1.

    Cut four 1″ x 5 1/2″ (2.5 cm x 14 cm) construction paper strips. Make a paper chain with the strips, securing them with glue (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Carefully cut out the heart decoration (above), mount it on construction paper, and trim it. Optional: Trace this decoration, or make different shapes (bell, tree, star).

  3. 3.

    Write whom the gift is for on the blank line; sign your name on the back.

  4. 4.

    Thread the needle, push it through the black dot on the small heart, remove only the needle, then tie the thread through the bottom link of the chain (see illustration).

Holiday Ice-Cream Cups

4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

4 tablespoons chopped red maraschino cherries

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate hard-shell candies (or other chocolate candy)

extra chocolate candy, chopped

  1. 1.

    Combine the softened ice cream, cherries, and vanilla in a bowl.

  2. 2.

    Mix in the 1/2 cup of candies.

  3. 3.

    Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Put 1/2 cup of the ice-cream mixture into each muffin cup.

  4. 4.

    Freeze for at least thirty minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped candy before serving.

Nutty Noel Chocolate Dip

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

dash ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

2 tablespoons milk

cookies, pretzels, or cut-up fruit

  1. 1.

    In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and cinnamon until smooth.

  2. 2.

    Gradually stir in the chocolate syrup and milk until well blended.

  3. 3.

    Serve with cookies, pretzels, or cut-up fruit.

Christmas Ice Cubes

1 package (.13 ounces/3.6 g) cherry- or lime-flavored drink mix

1 bottle (67.6 ounces/2 liters) lemon-lime soda

  1. 1.

    Make up the drink mix according to the directions on the package.

  2. 2.

    Pour it evenly into 2 ice-cube trays and place them in the freezer for 4 hours or until the ice cubes are frozen solid.

  3. 3.

    Put a few ice cubes into each glass; then slowly pour the soda over them.

Holiday Wreath

For this simple wreath, you will need: a white paper plate, a pencil, scissors, a red or green crayon or marker, green and red wrapping tissue, glue, and red ribbon.

  1. 1.

    Draw a large circle in the center of the paper plate, cut it out, and discard it (see illustration). Color the front side of the plate-wreath green or red.

  2. 2.

    Note: The number of leaves and berries needed depends on the spacing and the size of the paper plate. Fold the green wrapping tissue several times before cutting it into 2 1/2″ (6.5 cm) squares for the leaves. Cut from the red wrapping tissue as many 2″ (5 cm) squares (berries) as needed.

  3. 3.

    Lightly crumple the leaf squares into loose balls and glue them on the wreath until it is covered. Crumple the berry squares into loose balls, space them around the wreath, then glue them in place.

  4. 4.

    To hang, loop the red ribbon through the wreath, and tie it in a bow or a knot.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki