“The family that prays together stays together.”
You’ve probably seen this phrase painted on a wall plaque or stitched into a pillow somewhere. But what about the family that gives together?
Perhaps you’ve decided to make this Christmas different.
You’ve committed to adding someone in need to your family’s holiday gift-giving list. Or maybe your kids have decided to choose to donate an item from the World Help Christmas Giving catalog in lieu of one of their normal presents.
Christmas is a great time to teach your children the importance of helping others. After all, everyone is already in the spirit of giving.
Here are five fun activities to making these teachable moments even more fun for the entire family.
1. Collect rainwater
The next time it rains, set a bucket outside to collect as much rainwater as you can. When the skies clear and the sun shines again, bring the bucket inside. How much water did you collect? A couple inches?
This is a great way to show your whole family how some people in remote villages don’t have access to running water. They have to rely on the rain or walk for miles on foot to collect dirty river water.
Is this something your family would like to help with? For just $15, your family can provide one person with clean water for an entire year! Your gift will protect a child from waterborne diseases, help a farmer water his crops, or keep a mother from making the dangerous journey to a river to wash clothes. Your gift will transform someone’s life this Christmas!
2. Bake with purpose
Baking Christmas cookies has always been one of my family’s favorite traditions. Walk into the kitchen just days before Dec. 25, and you’re sure to find trails of sugar and sprinkles and clouds of flour.
As you make your own sweet treats or cook a special holiday dinner with your kids, pull out the World Help Christmas Giving catalog and find the gifts that provide food for families in need. (Don’t have a print copy? Request one here or check out the online version.)
One such gift is a goat, which can produce nearly one ton of milk each year. Explain to your children how this milk can be used to make foods like cheese, butter, and yogurt. These are items a family in need can eat or sell in the market for extra income!
3. Walk in someone else’s shoes
I remember how important new shoes were in middle and high school. Especially on the first day of class. But many children around the world don’t own any shoes. If they do, they’re often too small or falling apart at the seams.
So, here’s an idea. Have your family walk barefoot (carefully!) in your yard for a while. Encourage them to pay attention to how fast their toes get cold or how uncomfortable it is to feel every twig and pebble under their feet. Afterward, ask if they can imagine walking all day — every day — like that.
Giving a pair of shoes to a child in need this Christmas will help protect his feet from injury and the cold in the winter months. And since shoes are a required part of many school uniforms, it will also allow that child to go to school and receive an education.
4. Get crafty
While making a Christmas wreath for your front door or helping your kids create homemade ornaments for the grandparents, take the opportunity to talk to your family about how some people in other countries make crafts and clothing for a living.
Many people like Vestine are skilled seamstresses and tailors. But making even a small project to sell can take a long time when they have to do it by hand.
One gift your family can give this Christmas is a sewing machine, which will help someone grow his or her crafting and tailoring skills into a thriving business!
5. Read the Christmas story
Does your family share the tradition of gathering around a crackling fire Christmas morning to listen to Luke 2?
As your family reads the Christmas story this upcoming holiday season, share how some families around the world have never heard the story of Jesus’ birth because they don’t own a Bible or even have a church in their village.
For just $10, your family can place a Bible in someone’s hands for the very first time. Or you can help plant a church by equipping a church planter with the tools, training, and transportation needed to spread the Gospel to unreached communities.
Whichever gift you choose, your family will share the Good News with people who have never heard the name of Jesus!
Don’t just enjoy another family dinner this holiday season. Don’t settle for just another Hallmark Christmas movie.
Instead, gather the family together and give gifts that will bring incredible help and hope to people suffering around the world.