For Day 7 of the Church’s #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas initiative, we are reminded that Jesus suffered the little children to come to him. One of the best ways to minister to children and spend quality time with them this month is to get them involved in service and what the true reason for the season is all about. The Church’s campaign invites everyone to serve as Christ would, so we’ve gathered 10 Christmas service projects for kids that both they and you will love to do.
It’s not only important to learn to serve but to learn to sacrifice. An easy service project is to have your children go through their toys and pick something to donate to a homeless shelter or children’s hospital. An ever stronger lesson? Have them pick from their brand new Christmas gifts rather than from their old things. Ponder what is appropriate for you and your family’s needs.
Plan a Playdate
Ask your children which one of their classmates or neighbors could use a friend. Invite them over for a playdate. Have your children plan the activities and what they’ll do together. It is a good opportunity for children to think about others, make a plan, and then put it into action.
Secretly Do Chores
Start service in the home! Encourage your children to serve each other secretly by doing chores they wouldn’t normally do or what someone else normally does. This could be making a bed, taking out the trash, or doing the dishes.
This not only teaches your child about service but gets them involved in a fun skill. Work together to bake cookies and then go deliver them to people in need. Plan extra time so you can let your child do most of the baking themselves.
Please and Thank You
Saying “please” and “thank you” is not only polite, but it can brighten someone’s day. Talk about how even the little things can make a big difference to someone else. Discuss expressing gratitude openly and with vulnerability. Ask your children who they could say thank you to and why.
Thank You Cards
In fact, making thank you cards is an easy way to serve! It is genuine, personal, and allows lots of room for creativity. Make cards for teachers, church leaders or friends. Put them in the mail or deliver them in person. You can have your children write in pre-made cards or have them make their own from construction paper.
Caroling is a spirit-filled activity that makes involving the whole family easy. Pick out some of your favorite Christmas hymns and practice them in FHE. Then, pick a location your family would feel most comfortable going to. This could be around your neighborhood, a nursing home, or some select families you pick out beforehand. You can even ask your children where they would like to go.
Offer Hot Cocoa
Do your children like watching for the mail or garbage man? Consider having them offer them a free cup of hot chocolate. Buy travel styrofoam mugs and have them filled and ready to go for those who may stop your way.
Create and donate a care kit to your favorite cause. You can gather food for a homeless shelter, hygiene items for refugees, or blankets and toys for children’s hospitals. Make a shopping trip out of it and help your children make the lists, find the items, and put them together.
Trying to Be Like Jesus
The greatest service anyone, young or old, can do, is to be like our Savior Jesus Christ. On a Sunday or during an FHE, discuss the reason for the season and how we can emulate the Savior all year long. Invite your children to pray for the Holy Ghost and to try and do as Christ would do in the upcoming weeks to Christmas.