5 Merry Christmas Ideas

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Our elves have been hard at work to help you pull off a bright and cheery Christmas season with these 5 Merry Christmas Ideas!

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To me, Christmas is the most enchanting time of the year. For a brief moment in time AND even if only for a second or two, the world stops and pays homage to our Savior. People’s hearts are a little more open and perhaps a little softer to the things of God. Use these 6 ideas to proclaim God’s love in sending his son to a lowly stable and to celebrate the wonder of the season.

CHRISTMAS OUTREACH

There are many ways to share God’s love with others through outreach at Christmas.

Children's Ministry Local Training

Here are a few:

Adopt a Friend — Donate time and friendship to seniors and disabled adults through your Social Services department.

Coats 4 Jesus — Collect winter coats and distribute them to homeless people.

Angel Books — Hang paper angels on your church’s Christmas tree for needy children. Have church members buy a book for each child.

Parents’ Day Out — A church in our town placed a door hanger on our door around the first of December last year. They invited parents to finish up shopping or gift-wrapping while dropping off their children for a fun Saturday morning at the church. Kids enjoyed a video, cookie decorating, crafts, hot dogs and chips, and a closing Christmas play.

SEW JOLLY

Involve people of all ages in making items that’ll bless people at Christmas.

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Warm Up America! Project — Have “those who can” teach “those who can’t” — to knit and crochet, that is! Then work together to create knit blocks. Assemble the blocks into warm blankets for homeless people. For more information on the Warm Up America! program and to obtain free simple knit and crochet patterns, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope to Warm Up America!, P.O. Box 9, Gastonia, NC 28053-0009.

Operation Christmas Child — Our church participated in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program last year, and it was one of the most meaningful Christmas activities for many of us. You can involve your entire church or just your children’s ministry in giving to children around the world.

Samaritan’s Purse delivers gift boxes to children in countries such as Bosnia, Rwanda, and Romania. Simply fill a shoe box with small toys, school supplies, hats, gloves, or wrapped hard candies. Then send each box to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607. For more information, call 800-353-5949.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Have each class surprise a family in your church by adopting it for the 12 days before Christmas. Perhaps kids will choose a widow, a single adult, or grandparents who are far from their grandchildren. Some friends in our church did this for us, and we were delighted to be someone’s “outreach project”! At a designated time each day, drop off surprises and poems. In your first poem, explain that you’re a secret Christmas friend bearing gifts, and encourage your adopted family not to peek to discover your identity. Ring the bell, and then run. Design the amount of surprises to fit the day’s number that you’re delivering on. For example, on Day One deliver one surprise. Day Two’s surprise could be a gift with two parts. On Day Three give your family a three-in-one storybook. On Day 12 ring the bell and stay so your friends can meet you.

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NATIVITY STOCKING

Have your children make these Christmas stockings to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. Kids could even fill these stockings with goodies and give them to less fortunate children. You’ll need 18X22-inch squares of ivory plush felt, dark brown felt, black felt, and light brown felt; scissors; and glue.Tell kids to:Use the pattern to cut out the stocking.Leaving the top open, glue edges of the stocking together.Following the color code, use silhouette figure patterns to cut out the figures.Glue figures on your stocking as shown.

COOKIE JARS

Have kids make these instant cookie jars for everyone on your church staff. For each staff person, layer in a quart jar: 2/3 teaspoons salt; 1/2 plus 1/8 cup flour; 1/3 cup cocoa; 1/2 cup flour; 2/3 cup brown sugar; 2/3 cup sugar; 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips; 1/2 cup vanilla flavored chips; and 1/2 cup walnuts. Write these directions on a card: Combine the contents of the jar with 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs. Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees. Bake for 32 to 37 minutes in a 7X11- inch pan or 27 to 32 minutes in a 9X9-inch pan. Use pinking shears to cut a 4-inch square of fabric. Lay the fabric on top of the jar and use ribbon to tie the card around the fabric.

This makes a beautiful and yummy gift.

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 27 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Group's Instant Christmas Play, Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones

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