Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Poetry

I love Christmas! My Christmas tree is decorated with angels. I call it my Luke 2:13 tree. This year, I was looking to add a few new ornaments made by the kids with some Bible verses about angels on them.

Always on the look out for a new school assignment, I realized I could have them write some Christmas poetry. I am going to print these out and hang them on the tree as well. I asked the kids to think about what it would have been like to hear from the angels about the birth of Jesus. I gave them choices of Mary, Joseph, or the shepherds, but they both picked the shepherds. It's perfect because it goes with my tree theme anyway! One thing they definitely discovered, expressing yourself in poetry is not easy!

Shepherds of Bethlehem

by Tutone

Shepherds of Bethlehem
Peaceful, silent
Watching the sheep


Angels of the Lord
Bright, loud
Singing their song

The Son of God
Great, awesome
Laying in a manger

Glory to God, the Most High!

Silent Night
by Super

It was a silent and peaceful night.
The shepherds were watching their sheep by the star light.

Suddenly, an Angel of the Lord appeared!
Singing with joy,
The angel told the frightened shepherds
The Son of God was near.

The Messiah, the shepherds ran to see,
When they arrived, they happily fell on their knees!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Celebrating the Season!

My dear friend Molly @ Counter Cultural Mom is hosting a blog carnival. I had heard of these but I had no idea what they entailed. Little did I know how easy they were! Uh oh! Watch out world! Anyway, Molly's blog carnival is Celebrating the Season. She asked us to share our favorite Christmas music and books.

My favorite Christmas carol is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley, who was the brother of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church. However, the tune was originally very solemn. A hundred years later, Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate the invention of Johann Gutenberg's printing press. It was the English musician William H. Cummings who took Mendelssohn's composition and adapted it to Wesley's lyrics.

My reason for loving the carol is more simple than it's history. When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me a music box. It was a silver angel that spun in place. The song it played was Hark the Herald Angels Sing. There are many modern versions available. Charlotte Church has a gorgeous voice. I find her rendition the most enjoyable.

As for Christmas literature, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a must read. If you have only watched the movie, you are missing out! Written in 1843, Dickens wrote the book to revive his dwindling checking account and instead revived the dying Christmas traditions in Victorian England. That's quite an accomplishment! Shortly thereafter, Queen Victoria began sending out official Christmas cards. Victorians were excited about celebrating Christmas again because of one book. If you are looking for a book on tape to travel with this season, I suggest A Christmas Carol narrated by Patrick Stewart.

Of course, Dickens went on to write four other Christmas books. They are filled with strong moral messages. Worth reading for older students, I would not suggest them as a read aloud for younger ones. Of the other four Christmas books, I enjoyed The Cricket on the Hearth, but nothing can match Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I am sure that's why it sold six thousand copies in one week. Quite a feat in those days.