Kick-off craft

For this kick-off craft, you’ll help your children make a willow wreath wrapped with ribbon. Each time you complete one of the 12 “days” of this Christmas lesson, you’ll add additional items to your wreath to remind you of each character trait you’ve studied.

Willow wreath Christmas decoration


You’ll need the following supplies for each child:

  • an 8-10″ willow wreath
  • ribbon in two colours – a metre of each colour per wreath
  • an extra length of ribbon to hang the wreath
  • a low-temperature glue gun
  • a plastic or paper heart.

For additional Bible story sections you choose from this lesson, each child will need:

  • day 1 (harmony): a tiny wrapped gift box
  • day 2 (joy): a drinking straw
  • day 3 (courtesy): a Hershey’s Kiss chocolate
  • day 4 (forgiveness): a pretzel snack
  • day 5 (generosity): a favourite candy
  • day 6 (obedience): a birthday candle with a paper “flame”
  • day 7 (cooperation): a tiny paper chain
  • day 8 (kindness): a small angel
  • day 9 (righteousness): a star or bulb from a string of Christmas lights
  • day 10 (acceptance): a sprig from an evergreen tree
  • day 11 (compassion): an adhesive bandage
  • day 12 (contentedness): a tiny bundle of hay or dried grass.

To make your wreaths:

  1. Secure one end of the ribbon to each wreath with a knot or a spot of glue.
  2. Have your children weave the ribbon through the willow branches in any fashion they choose. (Taping the end of the ribbon with some masking tape will stiffen it slightly, making it easier to weave through the wreath.)
  3. Glue a plastic or paper heart shape to each wreath.
  4. As you work, share your thoughts prompted by the discussion questions.
  5. Make a loop with remaining ribbon and tie each child’s wreath to the back of their chair at the meal table. (Or display them elsewhere if you wish.)
Questions for discussion
  • What is the best part of Christmas?
  • Is there a special food or treat that reminds you of Christmas?
  • Do you have any favourite Christmas songs you like to sing?
  • Is there anything you don’t like about Christmas?
  • Is there someone you would like to give a gift to this Christmas?
  • Can you tell me about a time when someone did something kind for you?
  • When God sent us Jesus, what was He really sending us?
Key concepts

Christmas is such a special time of year. There are so many things to love about Christmas! I think God loves Christmas too. My guess is that He likes it when we make an extra special effort over Christmas to think about Jesus and His love.

A long time ago, people didn’t celebrate Christmas, because Jesus hadn’t been born yet. In those days, people didn’t have electricity either. There were no switches to turn lights on after it got dark. And flashlights hadn’t been invented yet. Oil lamps and fires provided all the light, and nighttime was very dark.

Before Jesus was born, people also had a lot of darkness in their hearts. All their sin made them feel lost and lonely. God’s Word says the people were like a flock of sheep who were lost, because they didn’t have a shepherd (Jeremiah 50:6, Mark 6:34). Even the people who were supposed to be helping all the other people be close to God were confused. It was like they were blind people leading others who were also blind (Matthew 23:16-26).

God knew the only way to get rid of all the darkness and sin was to send the people His love. God decided that His Son Jesus would be the perfect gift because Jesus would live with the people and teach them about God’s love (1 John 4:7-12, Matthew 9:35-36).

Today we added a heart to our wreaths because the heart reminds us of the first Christmas and the gift of love God sent when He gave us Jesus.

Our wreaths themselves are like God’s love, too, because each wreath is a circle that has no start and no end. The Bible tells us that God’s love is everlasting, meaning it goes on forever and ever (Jeremiah 31:3).

God’s Word says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:12). Have you seen Jesus’ love anywhere or in anyone today?

Between now and Christmas, we will be adding a few more items to our wreaths to remind us how we can show God’s love to others.

If you wish, you can end your craft time in prayer:

Dear God, thank you for loving us with love that goes on forever and ever. Thank you for loving us enough to send us Your son Jesus. We love You! Please send Your Spirit to live in us so that we can love everyone like You do. Amen.