On the first Sunday after Christmas, the Church will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This feast is one of the many important feasts the Church celebrates during the Christmas season. On the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we remember the Holy Family. We remember that Jesus is with our families, always. With the Gifts from God Activity, children reflect on the ways that their family members are gifts from God by completing gift cards for family members. The children can present the cards to family members. Download available in English and Spanish.
Children using the We Believe Catholic Identity Edition or Creemos programs will know that we call the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph the Holy Family. They will have learned that God chose Mary to be the Mother of his Son and Joseph to be his Son’s foster father. Jesus is true God and true man. Since Jesus is truly the son of Mary, he is human. Like the children in your home or religious education program, Jesus was once a child. During Jesus’ time, mothers like Mary would teach their children how to pray and share the stories of their ancestors, the Jewish people. Also during Jesus’ time, sons would have learned a trade from their fathers. Joseph, a carpenter by trade, taught Jesus about woodworking. Children will connect with these aspects of Jesus’ childhood, which will help them to draw parallels to their own lives. The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is a wonderful time to talk about the Holy Family and the children’s own families.
As you prepare your homes and religious education classrooms for the season of Christmas, download a Gifts from God Activity to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and to highlight the importance of family in our lives of faith. The activity is ideal for children in the primary and intermediate grades. In the Gifts from God Activity, children will reflect on the ways that their family members are gifts from God. Each child will complete gift cards for family members, expressing how they help him or her to grow in God’s love. The children can present the cards to family members on the first Sunday after Christmas.
To plan and implement the Gifts from God Activity, make a copy of the activity sheet for each child. You’ll need the following materials: activity sheet and pencil for each child; art materials; scissors; and small envelopes. Distribute the activity sheets. Have the children write the names of family members on the write on lines as instructed. Provide assistance to children who cannot yet write. Then provide art materials for the children to color or decorate the cards. Help children to cut out the cards before writing on the backs. When the children are finished writing, provide a small envelope for each one. Be sure to label each envelope with children’s names. The children can keep the cards in the envelope until distributing them the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
This activity will especially appeal to children who are linguistic and interpersonal learners. As an extension activity, bring the children together to discuss ways their family members help them to grow in God’s love, and ways that they can do the same.