Christmas

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Like many of you, Christmas is my favorite time of year! On this page, I’ve gathered together a few of my favorite Christmas resources and activities that may be of interest to you.

***Several years ago I wrote the book, The Little Gift of Christmas Spirit. It is available for free as a PDF, on Deseret Bookshelf or on Kindle. Merry Christmas! 🙂

***While we all have our favorite Christmas movies (I love “A Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”–your recommendations are welcome in the comments) there is one Christmas movie that I think is an absolute must each year: The Nativity Story. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and go watch it! You can read my take on the movie, as well as watch the trailer here.

***You probably have your own playlist of great Christmas music, but if not, here’s my list of favorite yuletide harmonies.

***Last year I made a “Nativity Script” to read on Christmas Eve that incorporates more of the Christmas story than what we had typically read in the past. Several people sent feedback, and so this year we’re planning to use this new and improved Nativity Script 2.0 on Christmas Eve. I welcome your suggestions for further improvement–here’s a version of the 2.0 script you can comment on–please help me make it better! And here’s a PDF version you could just print and use:

***Watch this a fun video I made to quiz you on the sometimes blurry differences between what the scriptures actually say about Christ’s birth with what we learn from Christmas cards and other traditions. How much do you know about the first Christmas? More details on the answers are found below the video.

***

Here are a few more details that weren’t included in the video.

Determining the date of Christ’s birth and death is more complicated than we may think. The Joseph Smith Papers project has shown that D&C 20:1 is not a revelation about the birth date of Christ. Most scholars believe Christ was crucified in either 30 or 33 AD. For an in-depth discussion of issues with dating Christ’s birth and death, see Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment, “When Was Jesus Born? A Response to a Recent Proposal,” BYU Studies Quarterly 51, no. 3 (2012): 53–81.

On the idea of “there was no room at the inn” being a “guest chamber” see this video clip.

On additional things in the final paragraph that were wrong, click the relevant link (remember, almost everything in the following paragraph is inaccurate): The shepherds had barely left [not true–see Matthew 2:11, 16] when three Wise Men, kings from the east arrived [the scriptures don’t say anything about there being three or that they were kings, these are later traditions]. These Wise Men [the Greek word describing the “Wise men” is masculine plural, which does not necessarily mean that they were all male. Some may have been female] had followed a bright new star that had shone so brilliantly in the heavens that everyone noticed its appearance [the star may not have been noticed by people in Jerusalem, see Matthew 2:7]. When the Wise Men refused to return to King Herod, as they had promised [they never promised to return], the wicked king got so angry he killed children under the age 3 in the vicinity of Bethlehem in an effort to make sure Jesus was among them.

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