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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Project: Box of Blessings

Here's an article I wrote many years ago that explained our Advent Project that I created. Hope you can use it. If you'd like me to email you the complete project with ideas for all of the "gifts," email me at Kathyspeak AT aol DOT com.


Our 7‑year‑old daughter exclaims, "Mommy, it's time to open another present." No, it's not Christmas morning, but it is time to help keep our family's thoughts focused on the true meaning of Christmas by joining together for a holiday project which has become a family favorite. My two children can hardly wait to dive into our "Box of Blessings," a special box which holds 24 gifts for the Advent season.
The first present introduces the idea. On December 1, I open the large gift‑wrapped box containing 24 small attractively wrapped "gifts", and read the enclosed tag to the family: "Today we are beginning a Christmas project. We will open a different present for the next 24 days to help remind us of God's most precious gift‑‑His Son Jesus."
Everyone can benefit from this family holiday project. Simply wrap a large box with Christmas paper, wrapping the lid separate. Gather 24 visual aids, wrap them, write out tags for each (object lesson, Scripture and discussion questions), and place the gifts in the box.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing for your own “Box of Blessings.”
Gift: Several pieces of any kind of food. READ: Does food always stay the same even after a long time? No, it changes when it gets old, doesn't it? But Jesus never changes; He is always the same. (Hebrews 13:8) Why do you think it is important that Jesus never changes?
Gift: A heart‑shaped object. READ: Hearts remind us of love. We love others, but did you know that God loves us even more? (I Corinthians 13:4‑7) How many things about love can we find in these verses?
Gift: A piece of soap. READ: Jesus washed His disciples’ feet to show them that they should be servants to each other. (John 13:5) How can we be a servant to each other?
Gift: A piece of flat bread for each person. READ: Jesus was tempted just like we are. (Matthew 4:1‑11) When we are tempted, how can we resist the Tempter like Jesus did?
Gift: A small candle or flashlight. READ: Both a candle and a flashlight give light. (Matthew 5:16) How can we be a light so that other people can see Jesus in us?
Gift: A little Bible or tiny Scripture booklet. READ: God gives us His words in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16) How does the Bible help us to live the Christian life?
Gift: A piece of modeling clay. READ: We can mold this piece of clay into whatever we want it to be. Sometimes we want to be like the people of the world but Jesus wants to mold us into His image. (Romans 12:1,2) Are there some things we do that are like the world and not like Jesus?
Gift: Scissors. READ: With scissors, we can cut out crowns for us to wear. (Have construction paper available for crowns.) Jesus promises to give heavenly crowns to those who still love Him even when sad things happen to them. (James 1:12) What sad thing has happened in each of our lives? Do we still love Jesus?
Gift: A toy boat. READ: The disciples were afraid they would die in a storm. (Mark 4:35‑40) Are we afraid of something? What does God say about fear?
Gift: A small battery. READ: A battery gives a flashlight the power to produce light. Similarly, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live a Christian life and have the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22,23) What are the fruits of the Spirit? How can we have the fruits of the Spirit?
Gift: A penny for each person. READ: God gives us everything we have and wants us to give a part of it back to Him. (2 Corinthians 9:7) What can each of us give to God? Does God want us to be happy or sad when we give to Him?
Last Gift: A photograph of each child when each was a baby. READ: You used to be a baby, didn't you? So was Jesus. Just as you are growing up, Jesus grew up so that He could one day become our Savior. (Luke 2:1‑20) What do you want to be when you grow up? In what way can each of us continue to have the Christmas spirit every day of the year?

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