Singing with Great-Grandma

(Based on a true story)
Is any merry? Let him sing (James 5:13).

Cheery music plays on the radio. Colored lights twinkle on our Christmas tree, and lighted candles gleam in the kitchen. The smell of homemade pizza slowly fills the house.

I feel like jumping and squealing, but Mommy asks, “Will you please set the table?” So I set seven places—one each for me, Mommy, Daddy, Great-Grandma, Uncle Phil, Heather, and Stacie. Tonight they are coming for dinner. After we eat, I can play with my cousins until bedtime. I can’t wait to show them my favorite dolls!

Soon the doorbell rings. Uncle Phil helps Great-Grandma through the door. “What are you doing up so early?” he teases in his loud, jolly voice. I giggle. He always says this, even when it’s late. Great-Grandma kisses me on the cheek and says, “Hello, sweetheart.” She always says this too.

I sit between my cousins, and Daddy asks a blessing on the food. We eat and laugh, and I am happy that Mommy has saved me five whole olives. I put them on my fingertips, then eat each olive one by one.

After dinner, I tug Stacie’s arm. “Do you want to play dolls?” She shakes her head and follows Uncle Phil into the living room. “Will you play dolls with me?” I whisper to Heather. But she follows Stacie.

“Let’s sing Christmas carols!” Mommy says, pulling back the piano bench. Laughing and clapping, we sing “Jingle Bells” as loud as we can. We sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Deck the Halls.” I don’t know all the words, so I hum and clap until I’m tired.

“Do you want to play dolls now?” I ask Stacie.

“No,” she says. “I want to keep singing with Great-Grandma.”

My throat feels tight. Soon big tears roll down my cheeks.

“What’s the matter?” Daddy asks, leading me away from the piano.

“I want to play with Heather and Stacie,” I cry. “I’m bored!”

“But, sweetie,” Daddy says, “Great-Grandma would be bored without you.”

I frown and wipe my eyes.

“See how happy she is,” Daddy says. “She loves you. She likes spending this special time with us, singing her favorite songs.”

I watch Great-Grandma sing. She smiles at me, her eyes shining like twinkling Christmas lights. I walk over to the couch and snuggle next to her. “Hello, sweetheart,” she whispers, putting her arm around me.

Mommy starts playing “Silent Night,” and I sing along.

I don’t want to jump and squeal anymore. But I don’t want to cry either. Playing dolls doesn’t sound as fun as I listen to our reverent voices. I feel calm, happy, and warm—like gleaming candles on a winter night.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Scott Jarrard

Christmas Advent Wreath


Remove pages 24–25 and 35, and mount them on heavy paper. Cut out the numbered pictures, the wreath, and the slits marked with heavy black lines. Punch a hole near the top of the wreath, and attach a piece of string or ribbon as a hanger. Beginning on December 1, find the numbered picture for that day. Read the activity on the tab, and do it that day. After you have completed the activity, place the tab in the corresponding numbered slot on the wreath so the picture can be seen.

Christmas Advent Wreath(click to view larger) Christmas Advent Wreath(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Elise Black

Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed from the Internet at Click on Gospel Library.

Christmas Advent Wreath(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Elise Black

1 Secretly help someone in your family. 2 Choose the right all day. 3 Visit someone who is lonely or sick. 4 Thank your Primary teacher. 5 Do a chore without being asked. 6 Give everyone in your family a hug. 7 Read “Nigerian Christmas” (pp. 32–34) with your family. 8 Draw a Christmas picture and give it to someone. 9 E-mail, telephone, or visit grandparents or relatives. 10 Take a surprise to a neighbor. 11 Thank your bishop or branch president. 12 Sing a favorite Christmas song. 13 Name three things you are thankful for. 14 Volunteer to say the family prayer. 15 Name one way you can follow the Savior. 16 Read the Christmas message from the First Presidency (pp. 2–3). 17 Clean your room. 18 Remember the Savior during the sacrament. 19 Sing and study about Joseph Smith (pp. 7, 10–12, 20–21) with your family. 20 Draw a picture of an event in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s life. 21 Do the Sharing Time activity (pp. 16–17) with your family. 22 Let someone else be first. 23 Think about the Prophet Joseph Smith, born 200 years ago today. 24 Read Luke 2:1–20 with your family.