For ideas about preparing and celebrating Christmas, consider using the four weeks of Advent to study Matthew 1‒2, Luke 1‒2, and the Book of Mormon prophecies about the coming of Jesus such as 1 Nephi 11, Mosiah 3, Alma 7, Helaman 13, and 3 Nephi 1.
Between Christmas and two weeks before Easter, consider reading one of the accounts of Jesus’ ministry (Mark 1‒8; Matthew 3‒20; Luke 3‒18; John 1‒10). In the weeks before Palm Sunday, start decorating the home with spring flowers, prints of art depicting the ministry of Jesus, and renew your dedication to your personal prayer life, scripture study, and service to others.
Although this book suggests devotionals starting with Palm Sunday, some families might want to start a week before, using the ideas discussed in chapter 1. Readings for this week could be as follows:
- Sunday: read Mark 8:22‒26 and discuss the symbolism of the blind man healed in stages.
- Monday: read Mark 8:27‒30 and its parallels in Matt 16:13‒20 and Luke 9:18‒21; read “Pure Testimony” by M. Russell Ballard (Ensign, November 2004, 40‒43) and discuss the elements of a testimony, especially what we need to know about who Jesus is and what he did for us; sing “Testimony” (hymn no. 137) or “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, 109).
- Tuesday: read Mark 8:31‒38; discuss what it means to follow Jesus Christ.
- Wednesday: read Mark 9:30‒37; discuss what it means to be a servant and be like a little child.
- Thursday: read Mark 10:32‒45.
- Friday: Read Mark 10:46‒52; compare and contrast Bartimaeus and the blind man healed in stages.
- Lazarus Saturday: Read John 11:1‒12:11; discuss the raising of Lazarus and why Mary anointed Jesus; sing “My Redeemer Lives” (hymn no. 135); make Lazarakia.
- See also the suggestions of Emily Belle Freeman, Celebrating a Christ Centered Easter, 11‒19.
Inspiring art includes Carl Bloch’s, “Healing the Blind Man” and “The Raising of Lazarus”; vignettes from James Tissot’s The Life of Christ such as “The First Shall Be Last,” “Jesus and the Little Child,” “Get Thee Behind Me, Satan,” “The Two Blind Men at Jericho,” “The Resurrection of Lazarus”; Harry Anderson’s “Christ and the Children”; and J. Kirk Richards “Sight Restored.”
 Eric D. Huntsman, Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior’s Birth (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011).