This is Day 4 of my 7 ideas your group or class or family can use to celebrate Christmas. See 1-3 here.
Years ago, I read +Dick Alexander’s sage advice about gift giving that I’ve never forgotten. “Gifts are an integral part of Christmas,” he said, “but they can either express or distort its meaning.” He suggested limiting our gift giving to one another (in the family or small group). Your family or group may usually exchange gifts with one another (even though is Jesus’ birth we’re celebrating!). Instead, give gifts to the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40, 45).
As the body of Christ in action, your group has the privilege of penetrating the culture by serving people. After all, that’s what the Incarnation is all about. Here are a few ideas:
+Eric Bingaman shared what his small groups at Batesville (Indiana) Christian Church (where he used to be the small groups minister) have done: “Small groups brought in residents of a group home for a Thanksgiving dinner. One group took a Saturday to watch the children of church members so they could get their shopping accomplished. Groups often adopt members of the congregation or community for the holiday. One group went door to door Christmas caroling in their neighborhood.”
+Chris McCall, Small Groups and Care Pastor at Watermark Church in Ashford, Alabama, said, “Our groups have connected with the local schools in our community to provide Christmas for needy families. Groups enjoy it because it’s more than providing gifts for the families; it’s about the relationships built with the families they provided for. A number of our groups have taken this opportunity to help them minister to the families outside of the holiday season throughout the year.”