Our ward primary kids are going to sing "Silent Night" and "Samuel Tells the Story of Baby Jesus" to the congregation beautifully next week, on Christmas Sunday. I have to admit that I felt a little teary when the senior primary was singing "Silent Night." I really felt they were singing the words with their hearts, and hope that I am not wrong. I tried to convey this feeling to them after they sang and remind them about how this song really welcomes Christmas. They will sound so beautiful next week. I really think children can bring the spirit into the room faster than most adults. They were with their Father in Heaven so much more recently than us. They have such deep levels of sincerity.
I have a book that chronicles the history and meaning of all the songs in the LDS hymnbook so I looked up "Silent Night" and shared some interesting facts with them. One, the song is about 200 years old. Two, the song was written in one day, and yet it is one of our most beloved songs.
We had string instruments come into primary to practice "Silent Night," as well as sang "Samuel ..." with the pianist that will be playing next Sunday. By the time we did the "wiggle" songs for junior primary and practiced the two songs, we were out of time. The junior primary was really wiggly today so I let them sing the songs several times to get all their wiggles out.
For Senior Primary, I had time to use this wonderful idea that Colette shared on SugarDoodle in 2008:
For a Christmas singing time I wanted the children to learn just how fun it is to give. I went to the store and bought 6 small little gifts: gum, candy bar, pad of paper, pen, etc. Then I bought 6 of the small gift boxes. On the bottom of each gift box I wrote a song. On Sunday, they got to pick a present out of my bag and then put the present in one of the gift boxes (they now know the gift and they have wrapped it). Another child then goes into the hall and picks ANYONE to come in. It was so fun because none of us knew who was coming in.
Colette goes on to give some additional details but in short, I let three children bring in three different adults, we sang a Christmas to them, and then we gave them a gift that a reverent child had helped select and put into a gift box.
It was perfect because in sacrament the counselor talked about JOY this Christmas season and how it stands for Jesus, Others, and Yourself - the order in which you should be thinking about things. So, I asked for hands to see who remembered what JOY stood for, talked about it a little bit, then went into the activity. I think the children really loved it, and it was fun for the three very surprised adults.