Jesus Gift Activity
The Birthday party that begins at Christmas time but lasts all year long!
In the weeks prior to Christmas, each family member needs to contemplate the gift that he/she will give Jesus for His birthday. Family members can discuss ideas together but the final decision is to be announced by each person on Christmas morning (or Christmas eve - whatever your family agrees on).
Suggested Parameters for the gift to Jesus:
1. Your Jesus gift is personal, not material. It is not something you can make or buy (unless perhaps you are making or buying things to donate to a charity), and is to be substantial in nature. Jesus has given you so much, now is your time to give Him something back.
2. Your gift should evolve around a personal commitment to Jesus for changes in your life. Remember, this gift is to be something NEW that you are not already doing now. All of the things you are doing now are great, but if it were your birthday, wouldn't you want something NEW, not the same gift as last year re-wrapped? That is the concept, that we are opening our hearts out for Jesus, stretching beyond what we have done before.
3. The gift should be measurable and a method of accountability is to be outlined.
4. Research can be done and items that signify the gift should be lovingly wrapped in a box and placed under the tree awaiting Christmas morning.
5. Christmas Eve, a cake should be made or purchased to be the birthday cake for Jesus, served on Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve, if preferred). A birthday candle for each family member participating needs to be available.
6. Christmas morning: Happy Birthday Jesus! Have the family members get his/her gift for Jesus and gather together around the table or somewhere where you can all see each other, and is in an area where the cake is visible and can be served. Take turns opening the gifts and explaining the gifts. After each person has opened and explained his/her gift, give each person a birthday candle. Each person will place his/her candle in the cake, taking a moment to say "Happy birthday Jesus!" Have someone light the candles, then everyone will sing happy birthday to Jesus, and all will help blow out the candles.
At this point you can enjoy some cake, and then go off to your regular Christmas activities. I suggest you add some birthday party fun throughout the day for everyone - games with prizes and such. Most of all have fun together and take every chance to remind everyone why we celebrate Christmas!
Some Jesus Gift ideas:
Volunteer: Choose an organization that you wish to volunteer with and make a commitment to a specific amount of time you will spend volunteering. In your gift box, items that tell about the charity or organization can be placed.
Donations: Choose an organization or charity to donate to, either monetarily or by making items. For example, one year my Jesus gift was to crochet baby blankets for Hugs & Kisses Crafters, a group that donates handmade items to families with pre-mature/terminally ill babies. I set my goal at 8 blankets (and gave far more), and my accountability was built into the group itself -- since there are donation requirements for membership. Yarn and crochet hooks could be what is wrapped up.
Personal Bible Study/Quiet time: Make a goal to read the bible and pray daily for a set amount of time. An accountability partner can be used to check in with you and make sure you are keeping up with your goal. You could wrap the bible for this gift.
Note from author: If you do this with your family or on your own I would love to hear about the experience!
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