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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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Table of Contents
Christmas, Part 1
     Proclaim the Good News of the Birth of Our Savior
     Teach the Character Quality of Generosity
     God's Gift List
     How To Show Love and Generosity
Recommended Resources
     Singing Is Easy!
     Measure Match Memory Game
     At Home Wellness
     Noah's Ark Animal Workshop
     Homeschool Cookbook
     Family Time Movies
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote

Christmas Greetings!
     We trust that your family will have a wonderful time of
celebrating Christ's birth.
     Regardless of objectionable practices of past and present
Christmas observances, Christian families can focus on the true
reason for the celebration -- God's love in sending us a Savior!
This is an opportunity to teach spiritual truths to our children
and to share the same Good News to our world today that the
angels proclaimed 2,000 years ago.

Christmas and Our Culture
    A poll recently released by Newsweek reveals some surprising
statistics on how Americans view Jesus and his birth.

 *  Ninety-three percent of all Americans believe Jesus really
 *  Eighty-two percent see Jesus as God or the Son of God.
 *  Seventy-nine percent say they believe Jesus was conceived by
     the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary.
 *  Sixty-seven percent of Americans think the entire Christmas
     story is historically accurate, including the virgin birth,
     angelic proclamation to the shepherds, the star of
     Bethlehem, and the wise men from the East.

     As ambassadors for Christ, we can build on this foundation
of knowledge and belief by explaining to people why Christ was
born and how they can accept His free gift of salvation through
faith in Him.

     Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,
          as though God were making an appeal through us;
     we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
          II Corinthians 5:20

Our Christmas Issues
     In this issue we focus on the character quality of
generosity and our opportunities for evangelism.
     In the next issue we will discuss the story of God's love.
We will also give some suggestions for last minute Christmas
preparations and after-Christmas activities.
     We invite you to share your Christmas greetings with other
home-school families by sending us a photo; a paragraph with
highlights of your past year; and/or wishes, prayers, and
encouragement for fellow home-school families.

     Your newsletter editors were both on "sick leave" last
week.  We pray that you and yours will have a happy and healthy
holiday season.  (Make sure your children scrub their hands well
after being out in public!)

Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Sisters and Co-Editors
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

     If you use a spam filter, whitelist us by putting the
following into your e-mail program:
 *  "From" address:
 *  Sending IP address:
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Singing Is Easy!
Basic Foundation Series
Featuring the 10 Steps
to Singing Success
     Teach your students to sing properly
with this organized curriculum.  Perfect
as a teacher's guide, for homeschool or
individual home study, for 7th grade and up.  Teaching Home
subscribers: Save 10% off the sale price until 12-30-04. Use
coupon code "teachathome" during checkout.  With the "Singing
Is Easy Basic Foundation Series," get the facts, the details and
the secrets -- everything you need to know about singing with
"The 10 Steps to Singing Success."

Proclaim the Good News
of the Birth of Our Savior

     Christmastime is an excellent opportunity to include a
witness for Christ in your greetings to extended family,
neighbors, and co-workers.  Your presentation of the good news
of God's gift may take many forms:

Include the Gospel in Your Cards and Letters

 *  Add a sentence to your card such as "May you know the eternal
     love, joy, and peace that comes from trusting Christ the
     Savior, whose coming we celebrate at Christmas."
 *  Write out a verse such as John 3:16.
 *  Include Christmas tracts with all your Christmas cards.
 *  Look for attractive cards with biblical Christmas tidings and
     a Bible verse.
 *  If you mail or e-mail an annual family letter or newsletter,
     include a personal testimony of the Lord's working in your
     life, your gratefulness for His salvation, and a Bible

Go Christmas Caroling

     Everyone loves to hear the familiar Christmas carols.
 *  Go caroling in your neighborhood, in a hospital or nursing
     home, or to shut-ins.
 *  Go as a family or with another family or group.
 *  Include your testimony in just a couple of sentences between
     songs, briefly speak of the gospel message in the songs,
     and/or pass out Christmas tracts.

Give Christmas Goodies Plus

     Prepare a plate of goodies for your neighbors, friends,
and/or family.
 *  Include a Christmas tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio
     tape of a book of the Bible.

Measure Match:  A New
Memory Game Teaches
Common Measurements
     Simple and fun, this colorful card
deck contains 34 pairs of equivalent
time, length, weight, and volume
measurements. No reading required. Ages 4 and up.
Match cards using colors, shapes, or words. $15 plus $3 S/H.

Teach the Character Quality of Generosity
     Generosity is part of a group of character qualities
included in the broader category of love.
     "We love, because he first loved  us" (1 John 4:19).
     Explain to your children that we give gifts at Christmas to
show our love for others, just as "God so loved the world and
gave his only begotten Son."

Look at Why We Should Be Generous

 *  Because God has been generous to us (Eph. 3:19-20).
 *  Because God tells us to (Luke 6:30, 38; Romans 12:8, 13;
     Eph. 4:28; Isa. 58:10-11; II Cor. 9:7).
 *  Because we are stewards of what He has given to us.

     Study the characteristics of love and generosity and what
God says about them:

     Wanting and doing the best for another, expecting nothing in
return.  Also: compassion, affection, concern, caring, empathy,
     See I Cor. 13; I John 3:17-18; Romans 12:9-10; John
15:12-13; Phil. 2:1-4.

     Gladly and unselfishly giving self, time, talents, money,
and possessions. Also: sharing.
     See II Cor. 9:7; I Tim. 6:18; II Cor. 8:1-5; Heb. 13:16;
I Tim. 6:18.

Find Out What God Says about Giving

     Read and study Bible passages that encourage Christian
generosity.  Start with the following.
__ Deut. 16:17
__ 1 Chron. 29:11-17
__ Prov. 11:24-25; 22:9
__ Matt. 25:35-40
__ Luke 6:38
__ Acts 20:35
__ Rom. 12:13
__ 2 Cor. 8:2-21; 9:5-15
__ Gal. 6:6
__ Heb. 6:10; 13:16
__ 1 Tim. 6:17-19
__ I John 3:17

Discuss What We Should Give

 *  We must thoughtfully consider the needs of others in order to
     meet those needs in a practical manner.
 *  We can be generous regardless of our financial situation and
     our ability to purchase gifts -- we have much that we can
     give: time, attention, conversation, work, service, etc.
 *  When you give to those in need, do it in the name of the Lord
     so that He gets the glory and others are pointed to Him.

Protect Your Children
from Harmful
Household Products!
     Try quality products for your
home today that are safe, non-toxic,
and cost-effective -- and earn extra income along the way!
Contact me for more information.  (Ask me about December
Deal.)  Malynda Lucy

God's Gift List
     Talk to your family about those to whom God told us to give.
And remember everyone's greatest need is salvation.  The greatest
love we can share is the good news of the Gospel!

Our Family

     Sometimes we fail to show our love and generosity to the
ones we love the most.  Being aware of that possibility can help us
to be more considerate of them and watch for opportunities to be
lovingly generous.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

     "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this
all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for
one another" (John 13:34, 35).

Everyone/Our "Neighbors"

     "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

The Needy and Unlovely

     God loved us when we were unlovely to Him (Rom. 5:8).
He asks us to love and give to prisoners; widows and orphans;
the poor, handicapped, hungry, thirsty, or sick; strangers, those
in need of clothing, and those that cannot return our gifts. (See
James 1:27; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:34-46.)
     "Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and
those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the
body" (Hebrews 13:3).
     "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
For even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6:32).
 *  Look for someone that you would not naturally show love to
    and do so for the Lord's sake.
 *  Find a practical way to meet their need.

Those Who Have Done Us Wrong

     "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27, 28).
     Only by the love of God flowing through us can we be
generous to those who have wronged or hurt us.  But that is the
Lord's way (Eph. 4:32).
 *  A simple card or small gift can make all the difference in a
     strained relationship by showing forgiveness and openness.

Christian Workers and Missionaries

     "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of
double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and
teaching" (1 Timothy 5:17).
 *  Find out the needs of your pastor and the missionaries you
     support (maybe something above their regular support), and
     seek ways to meet them all year long.

A Great Family
Business Opportunity!
Own your own traveling "Stuff-N-
Fluff" animal workshop where your
party guests choose an animal, stuff
it, dress it, take it home and love it.  Fun for the whole family.
Contact Annette at (800) 498-4316 or

How To Show Love and Generosity

     Discuss ways to meet the different needs of people.  At this
time of the year the message of Christ can be presented in a
practical way as you show God's love through your love.
     "Little children, let us not love with word or with
tongue, but in deed and truth"  (1 John 3:18).
     There are several ways that you may become aware of the
needs of others and give to them.  Here are some suggestions for
showing generosity at Christmas and all year long.

Provide Necessities

     Some people need the material necessities of life.
     "If a brother or sister is without clothing and in
need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in
peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not
give them what is necessary for their body, what use is
that?" (James 2:16).
 *  Prepare a basket of food for a needy family.
 *  Give clothing.
 *  Help pay for housing, utilities, or transportation.
 *  If you do not know someone that lacks these necessities, you
     may give through your local church, an example given to us
     in Scripture.  (See Acts 6:1-7.)
 *  You may give through an organization that ministers to those
     with whom you would not come into direct contact, such as
     a rescue mission, crisis pregnancy center, or foreign mission.

Send Greeting Cards or Letters

     A Christian card is a way to show thoughtfulness and love,
especially to those who are distant to us or not in our present
circle of intimate friends (remember to consider "God's gift
list" above).
 *  Find instructions to make cards using a variety of materials
     and techniques at:
 *  Write a poem about Christ's coming and it's meaning to you.
     See poetry writing instruction and tips at
 *  Use your best penmanship to copy the words of a Christmas
     carol in your handmade Christmas cards and greetings.
 *  An "old-fashioned" hand-written letter can be (and usually
     is) kept and cherished for life.
 *  A printed or e-mailed family letter or newsletter sent out
     annually is a good way to catch everyone up on your news.
 *  Add a personal note or inquiry about the recipient with your
     card or letter to personalize it.

(Continued below)

Working Moms Don't Get To Cook Like This With Their Kids!
Recipes use bonding, fun, and lesson tips for practical learning.  Free
Recipe download (exp. 12/22).

Edited Movies for Enjoyment or Education from Family
Time Movies.  Try a 15-day free trial.  Flexible plans available.

Reach Out and Call Someone

     It is always very warm and personal to hear a voice.  Your
call can give others a special lift at this time.
     Phone calls are very inexpensive now.  You can call a friend
across the country and have a 20-minute visit for under $1.  In
fact a call often costs less than buying and mailing a card.
 *  Buy a calling card (as low as 3 cents per minute) and use it
     just for these special calls.
 *  You can make a call instead of sending a card or letter, or
     in addition to your written communication.
 *  Schedule a block of time to make several calls each day to
     those who would appreciate hearing from you.
 *  Be sure to include those who may have been neglected in the
 *  As with all of these suggestions, do this throughout the year.

Spend Your Time

     Time spent together focusing on someone, his needs, and his
interests is a genuine act of love.
 *  Look for those who need friendship and companionship, and
     spend some time with them.
 *  Invite a neighbor in for a cup of tea.
 *  Visit a shut-in and ask him to share something with you about
     his life.
 *  When visiting a nursing home or shut-in, take a small gift.
     See suggestions for appropriate gifts at
 *  When visiting a nursing home or shut-in, take time to sing a
     few carols or hymns and read a Scripture passage.

Offer Hospitality

 *  Look for opportunities to have fellowship with another
     Christian family.  Share a meal, an outing, a study, a
     ministry, a sing, a workday, etc.
 *  Invite an unsaved family to your home between Christmas and
     New Year's.  Pray that you will be be able to make a clear
     presentation of the gospel to them and that they will respond
     in saving faith.
 *  Find a family or person who is in need or lonely and invite
     them to share a meal, an evening, or a day with you.

Do Acts of Service

     Serving the needs of another is often the best gift.
 *  Check to see if you can help a shut-in or your pastor by
     running an errand or doing something he doesn't have the
     time or ability to do.
 *  Help serve a meal at a rescue mission.

Give Meainingful Gifts

     It really is the thought that counts -- your gifts do
not need to be large or expensive to be valued as a
tangible expression of your affection.
 *  Small purchased or handmade gifts that show your
     thoughtfulness could include flowers, a pen or pencil,
     a hair clip or piece of jewelry, a pot holder, a tool,
     a wallet, an item to add to a favorite collection, framed
     photo, bookmark, handkerchief, favorite food, etc.
 *  Carefully selected books, books on tape, music, or videos
     can be accompanied by a note about how much your family
     enjoyed the same item and your hope that it will be
     meaningful to the recipient as well.
 *  Gift baskets can be personalized with a variety of items
     related to a theme and given to a whole family or to
     an individual.
 *  Copy and decorate a poem (Christmas carol or your own
     original poem) along with a related Scripture passage in a
     frame or on a bookmark.
 *  Festively wrap homemade foods and/or nuts and fruits.

     Whatever you do for others, both during the holidays and
throughout the year, do it with all your heart for the Lord.  You
will receive more than you give.
     "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
     "God loves a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7).

Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

Timberdoodle:  Knex Construction Sets
AVKO Dyslexia (& Spelling) Research Foundation
Measure Match:  Memory Game

Sunnyside Up
     Today our 11-year-old explained to my 5-year-old nephew,
who lives with us, that he was reading about dinosaurs and that
dinosaurs are reptiles.
     Coincidentally, we were going to Reptiland today to see
. . . reptiles.  As we were driving there, the 5-year-old anxiously
asked, "They WILL have the dinosaurs in cages, won't they?!
     Submitted by Janet S., Pennsylvania

God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Jesus
Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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