Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Littlest Angel Story and Dollar Store Angel Ornaments

This activity is drawn from "Developing Talents" in the Faith in God book and could be used to pass off activity #4 in that section.  The scripture in the Faith in God book is:

"For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God." Doctrine & Covenants 46:11

The Christmas story that goes with this craft is The Littlest Angel (see below) Its a story book, but you could just read the text while the girls munch on a christmas snack.  You can talk about how everyone has different talents.  The little angel might have had a crooked halo and an unglamorous gift to give, but like the widow's mite he gave the most valuable thing he had and it was very thoughtful because he was thinking about what a little boy would like.  What kind of gifts can we make?  What are our spiritual gifts?  Why does Heavenly Father give us gifts and talents?

I went to the dollar store looking for things to make angels with and this is what I came up with.
  • metallic pipe cleaners/chenille sticks
  • clothes pins
  • glitter drape  (glitter drape is a cottony drape designed to go under ceramic villages at christmas time and my dollar store had a ton of it, but you could use fabric, coffee filters, or tissue paper as well)
  • extra wide gold wire ribbon.  This came in 3 yard rolls.
  • cardstock, to print the angel faces on (had this at home)
  • hot glue (had this at home, one glue gun per every five girls)
  • treats are always nice too!

To make the angels, each girl cut a 7" circle out of the glitter drape and poked a tiny hole in the middle.  We pulled it around the clothes pin and glued it on with hot glue.  Then we took about 3" of pipe cleaner to make a little belt tie.  The girls enjoyed choosing their colors for this or even combining two colors.

Next glue on faces.  We printed angel faces that were 1.25" wide on card stock and each girl cut out her own.  Or they could draw their own.

note: you can right click on the picture and save it to your computer's "downloads" folder.  Then you can open it up on your computer and it should print. 

For the halo take another 3" (approx) piece of gold/yellow pipe cleaner and make a circle with a stem hanging down.  Glue the stem on the back of the clothspin behind the angels head.

For the wings we took about 10" of the gold ribbon and folded it into a rectangle,  we made it into a bow by tying another 3" bit of pipe cleaner of any color in the middle very tightly.  Like this.  We left a candy can shaped tail on this pipe cleaner to be the ornament hook.  

They turned out easy, inexpensive, and cute!   The girls loved it!

The Littlest Angel

An abridged version of the short story by - Charles Tazewell

Once upon a time in Paradise, there was a most miserable, unhappy, little angel child known throughout Heaven as The Littlest Angel.
From the moment he arrived, the Heavenly Peace was never quite as peaceful.  He had a shrill, ear-splitting whistle that was constantly ruining the meditation sessions of other angels.  Also, he sang with a loud off-key voice in the Heavenly Choir, spoiling its delicate harmonies.   On top of all that, he was always late to nightly prayers and when he finally arrived he always managed to knock everyone's wings askew as he clumsily bumped and pushed his way into his place.
Of course these annoyances might have been overlooked if not for the added problem of the Littlest Angel's untidy appearance.  Some angels said he didn’t even look like an angel!  His golden halo had black marks all over it from trying to hold it on with sweaty hands while running irreverently all around heaven.  And even on the rare moments when he was standing still, it always hung very crooked, covering one eye or the other.  He had the bad habit of biting his tattered wings when he was nervous and when he was supposed to fly he always tumbled down through the clouds head over halo instead!

Then one day a wise police angel called an Angel of the Peace sat down with the Littlest Angel and had a chat.  The littlest angel explained that there wasn't anything for a small angel to do in Heaven!  And that he was very homesick for Earth, and climbing trees, and pirate caves, and running barefoot in dirt, and fishing in streams!  The Angel of the Peace smiled and asked the Littlest Angel what would make him most happy in Paradise. The angel child replied "There's a box. I left it under my bed back home. Could I have that?"
The Angel of the Peace nodded his head and it was done.
From then on a there was a great change in the Littlest Angel, he was the most happy angel child in Heaven. His behavior was perfect. His appearance neat and tidy, and he finally learned to truly fly like an angel!

Then came the glorious news that Jesus would soon be born to Earth and that all Paradise would celebrate by making gifts to give him.  The Angels and Archangels, the Gate-Keeper, the Wingmaker, and even the Halomaker put aside their usual tasks to prepare special gifts.  All but the Littlest Angel, what could he possibly make?  He couldn’t write prayers or sing hymns or make Heavenly ornaments.  "What, oh what, could a small angel give that would please the Holy Child?" 
But then he came upon the perfect idea! And when the Day of Days came, he proudly brought it from its hiding place, and humbly placed it before the Throne of God. It was only his small, rough, unsightly box from Earth, but inside were all those wonderful things that even a Child of God would treasure!  However, as soon as he placed it among the other gifts of the other angels he regretted it.  Unlike his, the others were so grand that they glowed with radiant light.  His looked awful, he would surely be in trouble for such a shabby, irreverent gift!

But it was too late, all of Heaven was assembled and the Hand of God moved directly over all the other magnificent gifts and plucked his from the pile.  And what was his gift? Well, there was a butterfly with golden wings, captured one bright summer day on the high hills above Jerusalem, and a sky blue egg from a bird's nest in the olive tree that stood to shade his mother's kitchen door. Yes and, at the bottom of the box, a limp, leather strap, that had once served as the collar of a beloved dog.
The littlest angel trembled in shame at the odd assortment, it must have looked like junk in comparison to the other gifts!  Why had he ever imagined the box was so wonderful?  If only he could hide and never be found!  All Heaven sat perfectly still with eyes on him.
Then suddenly, he heard the majestic Voice of God!
"Of all the gifts of all the angels, I find that this small box pleases Me most. Its contents are beloved treasures from Earth and men, and My Son is born to be King of both. These are the things My Son, too, will know and love and cherish as he lives there.  I accept this gift first, in behalf of my son, born of Mary this night in Bethlehem."
Then the most amazing thing happened!  The rough, unsightly box of the Littlest Angel began to glow, a little at first, then more and more until it became a radiant brilliance that blinded the eyes of all the angels in Heaven!
The Littlest Angel was astonished as he saw it rise from its place before the Throne of God, and miraculously take its place in the night sky over Bethlehem.  Yes, his humble gift was shining brilliantly over the stable lighting the place where the Son of God was to be born.  And there it shone on that Night of Miracles, the lowly gift of the Littlest Angel transformed into a star that all men would call forever "The Shining Star of Bethlehem!"

What gifts/talents do we have? 
"For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God." Doctrine & Covenants 46:11

Here are some ideas I got from the Faith in God Book:  Being good at managing money, Having the Faith to pay tithing, singing, playing an instrument, writing songs, stories, and poems, crafting and art, acting, story telling, dancing, learning, scripture knowledge, being a helpful family member, honoring parents, cooking, gardening, understanding health and nutrition, healing, being able to dress nicely or style hair especially well.

What gifts can we give the Savior? 

Spiritual Goals such as preparing wholesome sunday activities, memorizing a hymn, sharing talents, repent and make changes, etc

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