Editor's note: See the PDF for the accompanying pictures and activities (p. 26):
Did you know that you actually feel happier when you give someone else a gift than when someone gives you a gift (Acts 20:35)? Why is giving often more fun than receiving? Talk about this with your family and listen to what everyone has to say?
• At family worship time, find a stack of plain paper and your Bible.
• Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.
• Why is it important to give generously and happily?
• Use the paper to make a pretend present for each person in your family. Tear, fold, and scrunch the paper into different shapes, such as a plane ticket, an animal, a car, etc.
• Then give each person the present you made for them. See if they can guess what it is (they may need a few clues!) and then tell them why you’d like to give them that special present.
• This is a fun way to be generous with each other, even if you don’t have any money!
What’s the best gift you ever gave to someone else?
Draw a picture of it in the box below. What did you enjoy most about giving this special present?
Look at the tags on the gifts below. Read the Bible verses. Draw a picture of each gift in its box, or write what the gift is instead. What do you think each giver was thinking and feeling when they gave these special gifts?
THE GIVING PROJECT
Giving is fun! Did you know that the happiest people in the world are not those who have the most but those who give the most away! Jesus created us to give, because sharing makes us happy. And other people are happy to receive a gift that shows how much we care.
Find a giving project that your family could do together. Some ideas:
• The rice project at www.freerice.com. Every time you choose the right answer, rice is donated to hungry people. You don’t even need any money!
• ADRA allows you to pack a virtual help box for a child and pay for it online. Find out how at www.kids.adra.org.
• Pay for a toilet in a poor village to keep children from getting sick. Learn more at www.toilettwinning.org.
• Make care kits for homeless people: warm socks, cereal bars, juice, soap, toothbrush, etc.
• Save up to buy a brand new toy to give to a needy or homeless child.
• Make pretty calendars with Bible verses and give them to seniors in a care home.
• Go without one item of nonperishable food for one day (or week) and donate that item to a food bank in your area.
GOD’S GIFTS TO YOU!
God has given you some special gifts to help you share His love!
1. Draw a picture of yourself inside this circle, or write your name instead.
2. Then draw a line from yourself to the gifts that you use to share God’s love with others.
3. Write any other gifts He’s given you inside the empty boxes.
WHAT CAN I GIVE?
Even if you don’t have very much, you can still make simple gifts to share with others. Ask your parents to help you with these ideas:
Hand prayers: Draw around your hand. Color the shape and write a prayer on your hand. Cut it out and stick it onto a picture, or place it in an envelope. If someone is sick or far away, ask lots of people to make hand prayers to send.
Promise box: Find a pretty box or jar. Cut many slips of paper the same size. Write a Bible promise on each one (you can find lists of Bible promises on the Internet at www.biblepromises.org).
Calendar: Buy a calendar with blank spaces for your own pictures, or print a calendar with spaces using a computer. Design a decorated Bible verse for each page in the calendar.
Helping money box: Decorate a simple, cylindrical food container that has a plastic lid. You can use recycled giftwrap or pictures cut from magazines. Ask an adult to cut a slit in the plastic lid for coins. Make a label asking people to donate money to help others.
Candle jar: Make a pretty candle lantern. Dilute white glue with a little water and use it to paste tissue paper shapes onto the outside of a clean, empty jar. You can make stained glass designs, cut special shapes, or stick stars onto the jar. When the glue is dry it will turn transparent, and you can add another layer of glue to protect your design. Put a battery-operated tea-light or small votive candle into the jar to make a lantern.
Trail mix: Combine your favorite ingredients to make a tasty jar of trail mix to give away. Or search the Internet for other foods and recipes that you can layer in jars.
Nature treasure chest: Decorate a sturdy gift box and line it with tissue. Place some lovely natural finds in the box, such as cones, seed pods, shells, stones, and bark. Make a label to stick inside the lid, saying, “Choose something from the box, explore it carefully, and list five wonderful things about it. Add other treasures to the box when you find them.”
I-spy bottle: Find a clean, clear plastic bottle with a wide mouth. Drop a tiny plastic lamb into the bottle. Add 19 other tiny things that easily get lost, such as a penny, small ticket, paper clip, button, seed, etc. Almost fill the bottle with dry rice or other small grains. Shake the bottle and see how long it takes to find the lost sheep, or to find everything you’ve hidden in the bottle. Give this to a child as a travel toy.