Friday, December 3, 2010

Five Little Ideas for A Missions-Minded Christmas

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Carnival of Homeschooling
Because it is all too easy to get caught up in the gift-buying and party-going of Christmas, slow down long enough to savor the real meaning. The real meaning of Christmas is greater than family, tradition, and gift-giving. The real meaning is that it was the beginning of the greatest rescue operation ever: A Heaven-sent Savior came to seek and save the lost! Try these five little ideas for a big impact on your family (and beyond!) this season.

Sweet treats. Keep a basket of candy canes by the front door. Tie a ribbon with a verse attached, such as John 3:16 or Luke 2:11. Offer these to everyone who drops by during the holidays. Besides family and friends, think about your FedEx and UPS carriers, the meter reader, the postal carrier, the cable tech, and others!

Warm up. Go through your coat closet and take your children’s outgrown winter items to a women and children’s shelter.

Sacrifice your change. Collect change throughout the year for the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions offering. Don’t just empty your pockets, but truly make sacrifices along the way, in front of your children. For example, forgo purchasing your favorite soft drink one week at the grocery, and put the money you would have spent in your missions jar. At the end of the year, as you count and roll the change, pray together for the missionaries.

Suggest gifts that come from the heart. Times are tough, and facing gift expectations with empty pockets is stressful--even for kids. One year, my son David received a fishing pole from his friend Matthew. It was not brand new, but it was one of Matthew’s favorite rods, and he wanted David to have it. Heartfelt gifts mean more to the giver and the one who receives, providing an excellent way to discuss Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Missionary Lottie Moon and Chinese children
Illustration courtesy of Heritage Seekers
Invite the neighborhood children over for cookies and milk. Tell your children the story of Lottie Moon and how she reached out to a nation by first reaching the stomachs of its children with her famous sugar cookies! While your children and their friends munch on the warm cookies you've made, tell them the story of the first Christmas. (Go HERE for Lottie's cookie recipe.)

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