Christmas

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Like many of you, Christmas is my favorite time of year! Here are some Christmas resources I have created and/or collected for you.

***Several years ago I wrote the book, The Little Gift of Christmas Spirit. It’s full of ideas for Christmas and 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”) there is one Christmas movie that is an absolute must: The Nativity Story. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and go watch it (available on several streaming platforms)! You can read my take on the movie, or watch the trailer here.

***Here’s a “Nativity Script” to read if teaching a class or as a family on Christmas Eve. It incorporates Nephi’s vision of Christ’s birth, as well as excerpts from Matthew 1-2, and Luke 1-2. It also includes Christmas hymns to sing at appropriate times in the story. Feel free to edit it and make it your own! Here’s the Google Docs version (it allows you to save and edit your own copy).

***Watch short clips from “The Chosen” featuring (1) Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1, (2) Mary and Joseph in Matthew 1, (3) the birth of Christ in Luke 2, and (4) The shepherds witness Christ’s birth.

***Here’s a fun video quiz 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.

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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: 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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Merry Christmas! I hope it’s a wonderful time of year for you.