Got Any Great Ideas for Christmas? (Enter for a chance to win a free book)

I’m looking for ways to make a difference in the world, both where I live and in places that I have never been.  Today, I’m fasting with our students and giving money to a project to build a well for an orphanage on the other side of the world.  Later this month we’ll be participating in a Thanksgiving event where we will donate money to help out people that come to our church with legitimate needs.  Around Christmas time, I’m always looking for ways to take the consumerism out of Christmas and teach my children to give our time, effort, and money to those who have no way of repaying us.  However, I’m not creative and I need your help with some ideas.

So here is my idea… Help me create a list of ways to reach out to our neighbors, bless our friends, and encourage others this Thanksgiving – Christmas season.  How does your family take the focus off getting gifts and put it back on giving to others?  What ideas have you heard of?

Share them in the comment section here and as a way of saying thanks (to at least one of you)  in two weeks (Friday, November 19, 2010) I’ll pick a winner from the comments at random.  The winner will get a free copy of Max Lucado’s book “Out Live Your Life.” (*provided I can mail you the book to an address in the continental US or Canada). If you have more than one idea, that’s totally cool and will increase your chances of winning the copy of Max’s book.  I look forward to hearing your ideas.

4 thoughts on “Got Any Great Ideas for Christmas? (Enter for a chance to win a free book)

  1. Margie

    1. “Christmas in a Backpack” through Net India is an awesome ministry. Donate a new or slightly used backpack along with $10. and some awesome folks will take the backpacks to India, fill them with goodies and the good news and give them to people in need.

    2. Celebrate “St Nicholas Day” on December 6th. Pick a family (or some families) that you’d like to surprise, bless, encourage….. Buy everyone in that household a Christmas gift or get a family gift. Wrap the gifts, label, and put in a bag along with an encouraging card, a story of St Nicholas and how he gave gifts without being found out, candy canes with the candy cane poem, a tract. etc. After it gets dark, deliver the gifts, but don’t let them see you. One family member can drive, one or two can take the gifts to the front door, ring the bell, and RUN, another family member can be the lookout. Have fun blessing people together without the people feeling like they need to reciprocate or even say thank you. Never admit to knowing anything about St. Nicholas Day or bags of goodies left on front porches!

    3. Bake goodies and deliver them to neighbors.


  2. Terrie

    I see Margie has already jumped on this so I will add some more. There is nothing in this world than packing a box for Operation Christmas Child. I use to take the my children with me to help pick out items to place in the box to send to a child who may never get anything new but what is in the box we pack for them. Sometimes I would ask them how much of their own money are they willing to donate to help pay for the items in the box.

    Another thing we have done as a family is advent. We began this when our children were very young. Now that our children are nearly adults, they take a Sunday and plan the devotion and songs for their assigned day for advent.

    This past year we had a great opportunity to celebrate Christmas with a young man whose family gave up celebrating Christmas when we was young child. As he grew up and his friends were receiving gifts from others, we was receiving nothing. He became a little cynical towards Christmas. He knows Christmas is all about Jesus, but yet like most Americans, we all fall into the commercialism of Christmas. My husband and I challenged our kids and said we would match dollar for dollar and go buy this young man Christmas gifts. We had the best Christmas ever celebrating Christmas with him.

    For those who have young kids, begin to teach giving to others. It will pay off in the end.


  3. pastorjonathan1

    I like the family advent idea. At our church in mobile, each year at Christmas a mystery person would purchase an expensive nativity set. Then they would pick a family that was going through a life crisis (like battling cancer or the loss of a loved one) and find ways to secretly deliver a piece of the nativity set each day of the advent season to the family. We used to hear stories of people being given a piece of the set by a waiter at a nice eating establishment or coming home to find a piece on their door step with a note… The cool thing is that nobody knows who it is (or if they do know, they aren’t telling). It even made the paper one year.


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