—John 3:16, NIrV
If an alien from outer space landed in your home town at Christmastime, what would it discover about Christmas? Would it report back to its leader that Christmas was a big birthday party for a baby named Jesus, or would it say that Christmas was a time for people to shop a lot and spend money?
Christmas gifts are part of the way people today celebrate Jesus’ birth and the gift of God’s love to us. But sometimes we think way more about what we’d like to get than about what we’d like to give. This Christmas, you can use the gifts you give to show people in your family, your community, and your world that you care about them.
Give to Your Family
These three easy-to-make gifts will help you show people in your family how much you love them.
You don’t have to spend any money to give someone a gift they’ll never forget. Find a colorful piece of paper and write a letter on it. If you’re writing a letter to your grandpa, for example, tell him how much you love him, what you’ve learned from him, and why you’re glad he’s part of your family. Put the letter in a gift box, wrap it up, and add a bow.
Decorate a small box with markers or scrapbook paper. On small pieces of white paper, write down as many good memories as you can think of about the person you’re giving the gift to. (Write each memory on a separate piece of paper.) The more memories you can think of, the better. Need ideas? Think about times when the person made you laugh, or comforted you, or helped you with something. Fold the pieces of paper and put them inside the box. The person you give this gift to will love reading about the special things the two of you have shared.
This is a great gift for anybody you love, especially someone who lives far away. Make a sign that says “I love you” in big letters with a dark wide-tip marker on a piece of white paper. Hold the sign up in front of you and ask an adult to take your picture. Print the picture out, put it in a fun frame, and send it with a Christmas card to someone you love. (To keep it safe in the mail, wrap it in lots of bubble wrap and put it in a sturdy box before you take it to the post office.)
Give to Your Community
Here are three ideas of things you can give to your community. How many others can you think of?
- Baby Jesus didn’t have a warm fuzzy blanket when he was born; he was wrapped in strips of cloth. This Christmas, organize a blanket collection at your church. Ask people to donate new blankets, and then give them to a shelter for people who are homeless.
- If you live someplace where it’s cold in the winter, collect winter coats, boots, and mittens and give them to an organization to distribute to kids who need them.
- Go through your toys and clothes and donate things you’re not using to a thrift store. That gives other people a chance to use them too. It’s giving and recycling!
Give to Your World
Did you know you can give Christmas gifts to families in other countries who are struggling to survive? To learn more, visit worldrenew.net and click on the “What You Can Do” link to look at their 2012 gift catalog. You’ll find gifts like these, plus many more:
Chickens, goats, pigs, and sheep
Would you like to get a goat for Christmas? For families who don’t have enough to eat, farm animals like goats or chickens could be the best gift ever. Families can eat the meat or eggs or raise baby animals and sell them.
A water filter
Every day, thousands of children around the world die from diseases they get from drinking dirty water. You can give some of those children and their families the gift of clean water—and the gift of life.
In North America, many people use bikes mostly for fun. But for people who can’t afford a car, a bike can help them get to work, go to the market for food, or go to the doctor when they’re sick. A bike can change someone’s whole life!
Whichever gift you choose, you can keep the giving going by praying all year long for the family who will receive it. To help you remember, write the word PRAY on your family calendar on the 25th day of every month.
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