Celebrating Christmas with joy seems to be easy for the young and for adults blessed with children and grandchildren, but somehow between the magic of Christmas as a child and the reverence of Christmas as adults, teenagers sometimes experience a feeling of being letdown when presents no longer are exciting and the tinsel loses its glow.
One suggestion for helping teenagers learn the real meaning of Christmas and to allow them to realize the joy of giving and the beauty of Christ might be found in a ‘Random Act of Giving Party’.
The project could require two parties. The first party would be a planning time and the second party could be planned for a date near Christmas when the group of teens plan to come together to report on their project. Both parties could be festive and teens could enjoy being together while discussing how to enrich others by giving to those who are less fortunate or who are not surrounded by family during the season.
The project would be for the teens to compose a list of ‘random acts of giving’ that teenagers are able to easily accomplish without spending a lot of money or time. The list could include things like keeping a supply of candy canes to hand out, keeping small ornaments, or planning trips to visit nursing homes. Teens are creative and they would be able to think of small ways to use their talents to bless those around them. Each idea could be included on the list. Each person who attends the party should be given a copy of the completed list. There should be more acts listed than any one person is capable of doing, but each teen who attends could be asked to commit to a certain number of the suggestions. The party could include refreshments and a game or two. At the first party, teens could even make Christmas ornaments to give away, to poor families, widows or to institutions.
Each person should be asked to keep a notebook with a list of the things they give, which might include ‘acts of kindness’ rather than an object. Also, they should be asked to record the reaction of person who received the gift. If the act is of such a nature that the one who performs it never knows who gave them the gift, then the teenager should record their on feeling or how they were blessed by giving to share with the group later. Acts of giving to include on the list might be a visit to a Nursing Home Facility where the teen leaves cookies on a tray at the front desk for the nursing staff or hands a stuffed toy or a candy cane to a resident. When possible, it should be something that is inexpensive and costs effort rather than dollars and cents.
After a couple of weeks, the group gathers for a party that celebrates the conclusion of the ‘Season of Giving’ and at this time they hold the ‘Random Act of Giving Party’. If any of the recipients were teens, they could be invited to this party as well. At this time, teens share their experiences.
Christians should print out and include a Bible passage to give with each gift or act:
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.