Christmas is a time for giving, but sometimes we can get so caught up in stockings and presents that we lose sight of the deeper meaning. These writing prompts about giving focus on generosity of the heart, from gifts of our time or thoughtful words to God’s gift of love: Jesus … the greatest Gift of all. Encourage everyone in your family to pick up a pen and turn their thoughts toward giving.
1. The Gift of Time
Sharing the gift of our time is one of the most meaningful gifts we can give to others. It can mean being a thoughtful neighbor, helping a single mom, or keeping someone company if they’re lonely or stuck indoors.
Think about something you love to do, such as giving tea parties, building with LEGO® bricks, baking, reading, babysitting, or wrapping presents. Write a paragraph about how you could use your hobby or talent to bless someone. Include the following in your paragraph:
- Who: Who would be the recipient of your gift of time? A family from your church? A parent or grandparent? A neighbor? Think of a person who might need a little extra love at this time of year.
- What: What would you do to make this time special and meaningful?
- When: When would you do this?
- Where? Where would it take place?
- Why? Why do you think the gift of your time is an important way to show that you care?
2. The Gift of Words
December 9 is Christmas Card Day. This day honors Sir Henry Cole (1818 – 1874), an Englishman who is credited with creating the first commercial Christmas Card. December 9th may have come and gone, but it’s never too late to remember someone with a card!
Take some time today to design a handmade card for one special person in your life. Keep it simple, or pull out all the craft supplies and make it as fancy as you like! The only requirement is to write a thoughtful note telling the recipient how much they mean to you. Include at least one specific example of a way they have encouraged or influenced you. When you’ve finished, mail your Christmas card or deliver it in person.
3. The Gift of Dignity
It doesn’t take much effort to respect someone who shares our beliefs. It’s easy to look them in the eye when they dress neatly, smell nice, and use kind words. But it’s a lot harder to affirm a person who acts or looks different from us, isn’t it? When we meet a person who is toothless, dirty, and homeless, our natural tendency is to avoid them. If someone has a physical disability that makes it hard for them to walk or makes their speech difficult to understand, we want to look away.
What makes a person worthy of dignity? Every human being has worth simply because we’re created in the image of God. Think about the stories of Jesus. Who did he hang out with? The social outcasts. And what was his message to the religious leaders of the day? That all people are valuable to God, not just the ones who “fit in.” He taught us that dignity focuses on a person’s worth, which helps us treat everyone with kindness and respect. It can be as simple as looking people in the eye, holding their hand, or having a respectful conversation.
Challenge #1: Write Something
In Luke 10:27, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. But he didn’t stop there. He also said: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Choose one of the following writing activities.
- Your “neighbor” isn’t just the person who lives next door. Who else does God expect us to love, help, encourage, or spend time with? Make a list of people who might be that “neighbor” Jesus talks about. Then, make another list of ways your family can show compassion toward people who may be challenging to love.
- Think of a time you stepped out of your comfort zone to spend time with or serve someone whom society has rejected—someone who made you feel a little uncomfortable or afraid because they looked or smelled or acted different. Write a paragraph about your experience. How did you show dignity or demonstrate compassion and kindness through your words, deeds, or simple presence? What difference do you think your actions made to this person?
Challenge #2: Do Something
Talk with your family about how you can affirm someone whom society has tossed aside. Through your community or church, could you serve meals at a homeless shelter or visit disabled veterans? Could you spend time at a nursing home? Volunteer with special needs children? Invite someone of a different faith to your home? Make care kits for the homeless and watch for opportunities to give them away? Spending time with people who are different, lonely, unloved, or socially awkward will help you understand what it means that every person has value and dignity.
4. The Gift of Jesus
This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. I John 4:10 NLT
On Christmas, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. Write a letter to God thanking him for sending the gift of his Son. In your letter, include several reasons why this gift has been meaningful to you in a personal way.
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If you enjoyed these writing prompts about giving, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!