In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many of us wonder how to keep our kids focused on the true meaning of Christmas — the gift of God’s son! For God so loved the world, that he gave . . . (John 3:16) Then again, when we’re honest, it’s not always easy for us adults . . . while children can sometimes get caught up in the frenzy of presents, we grown-ups can get caught up in the stresses of holiday traffic, crowded malls, and meal planning. Somehow the real message of Jesus’ love gets lost. I’d like to suggest a way to refocus the family on what’s really important — God’s heart for humanity! Christmas at Shepherd’s Gate provides countless opportunities to give and serve others who are less fortunate. It provides a teachable moment for children to understand the needs of others, and it also reminds us adults of how we are blessed to bless others. Here are just a few ways you can help! 1. Organize a toy or food drive at your workplace, your church, or through your child’s school. 2. Partner with your child to purchase a gift for a needy child. Bring your child with you to choose and deliver the gift! 3. Take time to talk with your kids about children who don’t have a home this Christmas. Pray for their needs together as a family. 4. Take a look at the toybox — work with your child to choose a few gently used toys to donate at the Thrift Store to help a needy child. 5. Volunteer as a family to help serve at Shepherd’s Gate. This is just a short list of ways you can help, but I hope it has many of you parents thinking of ways you can get your family to understand God’s love at Christmastime! For those of you who’ve been working on this lesson with your kids, what are some ideas that have worked for you? Please share with us.
Steve McRee Executive Director, Shepherd’s Gate