Merry Christmas Ideas

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					Merry Christmas Ideas
Christine Yount Jones

Our elves have been hard at work to help you pull off a bright and cheery Christmas

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.


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

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.


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

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.

Kidsacks -- Make sleeping bags for children in battered women's shelters. Thanks to the
Kidsacks organization, you can put together a kid-sized sleeping bag in a giant sewing
bee. Add a heart-shaped pillow and a teddy bear, and kids have something special to
call their own. For more information, contact Kidsacks, 26612 Center Ridge Road,
Westlake, OH 44145; 216-871-1913.

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.


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.

Nativity: Lights! Camera! Action!

It's not too late to have a spectacular Christmas event that's low-prep and

Nativity: Lights! Camera! Action! is a super-easy, instant Christmas play featuring music
and movement where families celebrate the birth of Jesus together -- from rehearsal to
cast party -- all in one night! With just one hour of rehearsal, four scenes that involve
everyone, and a captivating and original script, you'll be the star of Christmas this year!
Includes ideas on how to get families from your community to attend and how to get
them back to your church after the event. To order your copy click here.


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.


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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