By Mark A. Taylor
Looking for a different way to infuse your Christmas celebration with meaning? Gayla Congdon has an idea. During our November 21 Beyond the Standard BlogTalkRadio program*, she mentioned a program with lots of possibilities.
“We’re encouraging families to participate in 24 days of disruption, starting December 1,” she said. “Each day visitors to our blog or Facebook page will receive another idea for family activities to create a meaningful Christmas.”
Here’s how Amor’s website describes the challenge:
The 24 Days of Advent journey will stretch you. It will cause you to rethink your economy of Christmas and encourage you to give differently. Your hearts and minds will be open and ready to receive the celebration of Jesus.
The ministry is encouraging not only participation but also sharing. Your family can post comments, insights, or suggestions as you participate in the 24 days of activities. This sounds like a “new Christmas tradition” that many families will want to consider.
And this isn’t the only idea from CHRISTIAN STANDARD readers to help us focus on the holiday’s true meaning. The KORE Foundation, headed by Publishing Committee member Dennis Bratton, is encouraging supporters to be part of #GivingTuesday, a national day of pre-Christmas giving December 3. Charities, families, businesses, churches, students, and retailers across the country will follow Black Friday and Cyber Monday with opportunities for us to give.
KORE has set its own #GivingTuesday goal, adding 1,000 kids in Haiti to a protein feeding program. A child can be fed for just $75 per year. For more details, write email@example.com.
Earlier this year, International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES) posted an online “catalog” full of giving ideas to meet needs around the world.
For example, for $10 you can donate a blanket to help a disaster survivor. For $150 you can buy a sewing machine to help a person learn a trade and break out of poverty. Provide 220 pounds of beans for hungry people ($220) or 2 liters of cooking oil ($2.00). Click through the links at the catalog site, and you’ll find dozens of possibilities. This is a perfect possibility for small groups, children’s Sunday school classes, and adult Bible fellowships as well as for your family.
In fact, most missions your church supports are waiting for donations to bring special blessings to those they serve. Let us hear about the projects your family or your congregation is supporting.
One of the special blessings of Christmas is giving to those who can’t give back to us. And this year there may be more opportunities than ever to do just that.
*Listen to Gayla Congdon, Doug Priest, and Mike Sweeney discuss several opportunities and challenges for cross-cultural missions here.