A Family Christmas Present

 That Continues To Give Throughout The Year

SYLVIA MCCRORY      December 2020

This year Christmas will be different for many, just as the whole year has been with COVID-19. However, I am the person that tends to look for the good and not the bad, in every situation. So, make this year a positive, happy Christmas. If you and your family are tired of being at home and bored.  Make this an opportunity to make meaningful memories. Consider some of the following ideas.

1. Make individual gift bags for the homeless. Contact a homeless shelter and ask to hand deliver your gifts. It is important for children to witness the poverty some people are experiencing. Please do not make any judgments about why someone has come to this situation. Remember we are instructed not to judge others. Just be a loving soul, with a heart of generosity, allowing others to see God’s love through you. 

Items for gift bags may include: individual size shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, energy bars, water, socks, scarf, gloves, comb, Bible verse, small Bible, face masks, gift certificate to fast food or motel, crackers with peanut butter or cheese, nail clips, hand wipes, kleenex, band aids, chapstick.  Do not give money. 

He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done .                      Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)

2. Make a family group activity out of preparing items for the needy. There are many patterns online for mats for the homeless made from plastic bags. Let your children take control and organize this project. Allow them to lead you and teach you. Have them contact the homeless shelter, for information on distributing these. Show your faith and trust in their ability.

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.             Acts 20:35 (NIV)

3. As a family knit or make hats, scarfs, and gloves for the needy. Children may want to make something for children their own age. This is a wonderful idea. Become involved in supporting and helping your children do for others who are less fortunate.

If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him– how does God’s love reside in him?               I John 3:17 (CSB)

4. Children can sew items for the needy, such as, face masks, headbands, pillows, or cloth bags. There are many videos on turning their old clothes into something else, useful. They may want to donate the fabric from old clothes.

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.        Proverbs 28:27 (NIV)

5. Talk to your children about how they would feel if suddenly, they were without a home, or a place to live. How would they feel? What would make them happy? Encourage your children to put themselves in the shoes of the needy and homeless. Then pray for those who are struggling and less fortunate.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. 

Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

THE KING WILL REPLY “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH WHATEVER YOU DID FOR ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, YOU DID FOR ME.”

                                                  Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)

Whatever you do, make it a point to do something. And allow your children to be leaders if possible, as their age allows. You will find they will receive much more from this experience than any other purchased gift could bring. 

WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS TO BRAG ON YOURSELF TO RECEIVE PRAISE FROM OTHERS. DO NOTHING TO BRING GLORY TO YOURSELF. 

But when you give to the needy do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. So that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.                                                                                                              Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV)

Not only will activities like this change the feeling of giving for your children, it will encourage them to be less self-centered.  Continued service to others will bring families closer together. The rewards and memories will be greater than the most expensive vacation, or gift. 

 

Copyright 2020 Christian Parenting Today. All Rights Reserved.

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