Aim: To help young people understand the real meaning of Christmas. Also an opportunity for the young people to really feel part of the life of the Church, includes details on the Christmas Shoebox appeal. This activity can be run over several weeks during the lead up to Advent. Taken from the BB Junior Pro Pack Spirit S-25
• Church calendar
• Tape recorder and tapes
Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts but today we seem to give more and more extravagant gifts to the extent that people get into debt.
It is important to try and explain Christmas as a time for giving but it need not be a large gift – it’s the thought that counts. This is quite difficult to get over to boys as we now live in a very material world.
However, there are lots of different stories that can be told about Christmas:
• The Angel’s visit to Mary
• The Census and the journey to Bethlehem
• No room at the Inn
• The story of the Shepherds
• The time in the Temple
• The visit of the Wise Men
• The flight to Egypt
And many more from all versions of the Bible. Try different ones, as some of them are better than others for young people.
There are lots of activities going on in our churches at Christmas, often offering opportunities for boys to get involved in the actual work and activities of the church. Do please try and make the effort to involve your members as they then feel part of the Church. Perhaps they could help with the decorations or decorate the Christmas tree. Help distribute the gifts from the toy service or visit wherever they are going to so they can see for themselves how much need there is in their local community. This sort of activity could be an achievement in itself but what is really does is help the boy understand the needs of others.
Have you considered using the Samaritans Purse Shoebox appeal. Young people could pack a shoebox to send off. Either themselves or as a team. See https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/how-to-pack-a-shoebox/
Get an empty medium sized shoebox, wrapping the lid and box separately in colourful wrapping paper. Attach the appropriate boy/girl label, marking if your gift is for a boy or a girl. Select an age category 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 and attach the label to the top of your shoebox.
Fill with gifts
Add a ‘wow’ item such as a doll, cuddly toy or deflated football with pump. Now fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies. See our Gift Suggestions below for more ideas.
Make your shipping donation
If you make your shipping donation online at Follow Your Box you can discover the destination of your shoebox gift, gift by adding the barcode we send you to your shoebox. Simply donate £3 for each shoebox you pack to cover transportation costs. Or you can enclose cash or cheque (to Samaritan’s Purse) and place it in an envelope inside your shoebox on top of the contents.
Note: Follow your Box is only available when you pay online.
Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo of yourself or your group.
Drop Off Your Shoebox
Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and take it to a local drop-off location between 1st – 18th November. Your nearest drop-off point will be listed on the website from October onwards (find my nearest drop off point), or call 01993 770620.
Instead of doing a Nativity play this year, why not get the boys to write the story in their own words and make an actual recording of a ‘radio play’ on a tape recorder or you could be more ambitious and video it. (Do not forget to have parents’ permission if you are using the video). However if you use the ‘radio play’ style, it is fairly simple, no costumes needed or lines to learn and the young people really will enjoy hearing their voices coming across from the tape recorder. You could even start or end with a Christmas Hymn/Carol.
You might need to do it more than once before you get it right and the boys could have a copy of the tape to take home.
- shoe box appeal
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