“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la. ‘Tis the season to be __________ . . .”
What word would you use to fill in the blank? Jolly? Happy? Joyful? Grateful? This time of year is filled with happy tunes, sparkling ornaments, and delicious hot cocoa on brisk winter nights. Oh, what fun! But sometimes we forget what this time of year is really about—spreading the wonderful news of Jesus to those around us. Ask your family or friends to try at least one of the following activities with you as a way to share God’s love with others. Not only will you spread holiday cheer, you will shine the light of Jesus!
Bake some homemade Christmas treats. Put the treats on paper plates and cover them with colorful plastic wrap to give to your neighbors. If you enjoy writing, write a special note to go with the goodies. Be sure to let your neighbors know the true meaning of this special season—Jesus coming to the world!
Hold a Christmas bake sale at your church or school. Ask an adult to help you make fliers to tell others when the bake sale will be, and ask friends and family to help you make Christmas cookies, brownies, and other goodies to sell. Give the money you raise to an organization like Christian Reformed World Missions, which tells people around the world about the love of Jesus—and teaches others how to share it too! (See www.crwm.org.)
Tons of Toys
Do you have tons of toys sitting around that you no longer play with? Pick out the best ones and take them to a local donation center or thrift store. You’ll be glad you did!
Toys for Tots is another great way to spread cheer to children who might not receive a gift on Christmas morning. Use some of your allowance money to buy toys for another child, or ask your teacher about starting a donation box in your classroom. An adult can help you look up Toys for Tots drop-off locations at toysfortots.org. If you live in Canada, see grandtoy.com.
Singing from the Heart
Do you enjoy holiday tunes? Do you play a musical instrument? Good! Ask your family and friends about getting together to sing Christmas carols to and with people who live in a retirement home. You will lift people’s spirits and make them feel special.
You Can Do It!
What are your favorite foods to eat during the holidays? Corn, stuffing, mashed potatoes? Ask your friends and family to help you collect canned and boxed food for your local food pantry.
Spread Christ’s love by designing your own Christmas cards. Use construction paper, glitter, sequins, markers, and other materials to make your own beautiful creations. Inside your cards write special messages like “Jesus is our reason for the season!” or “God brings joy to the world.” Give your cards to neighbors, relatives, friends, or classmates.
Soup for the Soul
Thousands of people in North America don’t have a warm place to sleep. Many missions and soup kitchens that provide warm beds and hot meals for countless families welcome the extra help of volunteers during this busy season—and all year round. Or consider making your very own soup to give to others!
Incredible Edible Nativity
Try making this scrumptious nativity scene to share with family members or neighbors. Don’t forget to share the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth as you give it away!
What you need:
- a sturdy paper plate
- a plastic knife
- two whole graham crackers (unbroken)
- a can of frosting or a tube of royal icing
- a small marshmallow
- Keebler Elf cookies (or small gingerbread cookies)
- animal crackers
- one handful of crushed Shredded Wheat (optional)
- sprinkles (optional)
What to do:
- Break the graham crackers in half and set aside the four half-pieces. If you wish, decorate them with colored frosting and sprinkles. Wait for the frosting to dry before continuing with the next steps.
- Using a plastic knife, spread frosting along the edges of three of the crackers, and “glue” them together to form a three-walled stable (see picture). “Glue” the stable to the center of your paper plate with more frosting.
- Take the remaining graham cracker and place it on top of the walls of the stable to form a roof. Add more frosting if necessary.
- Spread frosting near the entrance of the stable, and place a marshmallow in front of the stable as a manger.
- Place two Keebler Elf cookies on either side of the manger—these cookies will be Mary and Joseph. Add more cookies if you want to include shepherds in your nativity scene.
- Place a few animal crackers around the manger
- to represent the animals in the stable. Sprinkle Shredded Wheat around the nativity scene for hay.
- Let your nativity scene dry completely, then cover in plastic wrap to give as a gift to someone. What a tasty way to share the Christmas story!
If you live in a snowy place, spread God’s love by shoveling your neighbors’ driveway and sidewalk for free. They will greatly appreciate your kind heart and hard work. Make sure to ask your parents for permission—or invite them to join you!