Splink 1:

Listen

When Jesus appeared to three of His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were allowed to see His glory. Jesus was not just a man, but He was the Son of God. God spoke to told them that He was pleased with His Son and to listen to Him (Matthew 17:5).

Instruct one family member to make a noise to try and drown out your voice as you read Matthew 17:5. Continue adding more family members (one at a time) and his or her noise as you read the verse again. Obviously the “noise” gets louder and louder and drowns out God’s words.

After a few times, ask, What are some things that keep us from listening to God’s words found in the Bible?

When we listen (and obey), we are pleasing God.

Splink 2:

Gift for Jesus

Bake (or buy) some Christmas cookies, make some hot chocolate, turn out the lights and read the story of “The Shoemaker” (based on a story by Leo Tolstoy) with only the lights of the Christmas tree.

There once lived in the city of Marseilles an old shoemaker, loved and honored by his neighbors, who affectionately called him “Father Martin.”

One Christmas Eve, as he sat alone in his little shop reading of the visit of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus, and of the gifts they brought, he said to himself, “If tomorrow were the first Christmas, and if Jesus were to be born in Marseilles this night, I know what I would give Him!” He rose from his stool and took from a shelf overhead two tiny shoes of softest snow-white leather, with bright silver buckles. “I would give Him those, my finest work.”

Replacing the shoes, he blew out the candle and retired to rest. Hardly had he closed his eyes, it seemed, when he heard a voice call his name…”Martin! Martin!”

Intuitively he felt a presence. Then the voice spoke again…”Martin, you have wished to see Me. Tomorrow I shall pass by your window. If you see Me, and bid Me enter, I shall be your guest at your table.”

Father Martin did not sleep that night for joy. And before it was yet dawn he rose and swept and tidied up his little shop. He spread fresh sand upon the floor, and wreathed green boughs of fir along the rafters. On the spotless linen-covered table he placed a loaf of white bread, a jar of honey, and a pitcher of milk, and over the fire he hung a pot of tea. Then he took up his patient vigil at the window.

Presently he saw an old street-sweeper pass by, blowing upon his thin, gnarled hands to warm them. “Poor fellow, he must be half frozen,” thought Martin. Opening the door, he called out to him, “Come in, my friend, and warm, and drink a cup of hot tea.” And the man gratefully accepted the invitation.

An hour passed, and Martin saw a young, miserably clothed woman carrying a baby. She paused wearily to rest in the shelter of his doorway. The heart of the old cobbler was touched. Quickly he flung open the door.

“Come in and warm while you rest,” he said to her. “You do not look well,” he remarked.

“I am going to the hospital. I hope they will take me in, and my baby boy,” she explained. “My husband is at sea, and I am ill, without a soul.”

“Poor child!” cried Father Martin. “You must eat something while you are getting warm. No, Then let me give a cup of milk to the little one. Ah! What a bright, pretty fellow he is! Why, you have put no shoes on him!”

“I have no shoes for him,” sighed the mother sadly. “Then he shall have this lovely pair I finished yesterday.” And Father Martin took down from the shelf the soft little snow-white shoes he had admired the evening before. He slipped them on the child’s feet…they fit perfectly. And shortly the poor young mother left, two shoes in her hand and tearful with gratitude.

And Father Martin resumed his post at the window. Hour after hour went by, and although many people passed his window, and many needy souls shared his hospitality, the expected Guest did not appear.

“It was only a dream,” he sighed, with a heavy heart. “I did not believe; but he has not come.”

Suddenly, so it seemed to his weary eyes, the room was flooded with a strange light. And to the cobbler’s astonished vision there appeared before him, one by one, the poor street-sweeper, the sick mother and her child, and all the people whom he had helped during the day. And each smiled at him and said, “Have you not seen me? Did I not sit at your table?” Then they vanished.

At last, out of the silence, Father Martin heard again the gentle voice repeating the old familiar words. “Whosoever shall receive one such in My name, receiveth Me…for I was an hungered, and you gave Me meat; I was athirst, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in…verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:35-40

Ask your kids to think of something they could give Jesus. Maybe your family could do something together for a needy family. Write what you’re going to do on a piece of paper, put it in the box and set it under the tree as a gift for Jesus.

Splink 3:

Happy Birthday

Host a birthday party for Jesus. Involve the whole family—plan games, make a birthday cake or cupcakes with candles, sing “Happy Birthday,” and celebrate Jesus’ birth into the world.

Party game ideas:

A simple game I love to play at Christmas is hide and seek. Ask for two volunteers—a hider and a seeker. Send the seeker out of the room. The hider will then hide a piece of the nativity set (make sure everyone sees where she hides it). Bring the finder back in and sing songs to help him find the hidden piece (sing louder the closer he gets to it; sing quieter when he is far from it). When the object is found, pick a new hider and seeker and continue playing.

Play Christmas stocking relay. Hang two Christmas stockings on one side of the room and put a bowl of small wrapped candies on the opposite side. Divide into two teams and line up behind a designated spot. Give the first person on each team a spoon and at the signal to go, see which team can empty their bowl and fill their stocking with candy. Divide candy between team members and enjoy.

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Splink is a simple way to link your family together spiritually. Through FREE weekly emails packed with ideas, Splink helps you and your family engage in conversation. Whether it’s making memories or having fun together, Splink allows you to capture those teachable moments to impress spiritual truths and life lessons on your kids. No matter where you are, there’s always time to Splink!
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