12 Days of Christmas: A Family Outreach Plan
Are you ready to sing Christmas carols again? Ready or not, the days are almost here. One of the most famous Christmas carols, and one that you will most assuredly sing this season, is the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” This fun song builds on itself, repeating the gifts of Christmas, from one to twelve. The twelve days (or Twelvetide) actually refer to the twelve days between Christmas (December 25) and Epiphany (January 6). Christmas, of course, celebrates the birth of the Savior of the World. Epiphany is the celebration primarily of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child, the first encounter of Jesus with the Gentile world.
Is it possible that this Christmas song can help us consider how we can share hope, peace, joy, and love with a lost world? I would like to suggest twelve ways your family can share Christ with your community this Christmas season. You can choose to complete one, many, all, or create twelve of your own.
- Make and deliver Christmas cookies with a Christmas prayer for your neighbors, your waste collector, and your mail carrier.
- Deliver dog treat bags to your neighbors who walk dogs in your community.
- Volunteer as a Salvation Army bell ringer. Make this time even more intentional by ringing together as a family.
- Invite ten people who were born in other countries to your home for an intercultural Christmas celebration. Ask each person to share how they celebrate their favorite holiday in their country. Then, share the meaning behind Christmas and the way you celebrate.
- Serve and enjoy lunch with an HOA office staff or a community center office team near your home. Ask if you can pray for them before you eat the meal together.
- Take three poinsettias to widows or widowers in your neighborhood or church with a prayer note attached.
- Take a Christmas decoration (E.g. wreath) to the nearest fire department for the firefighters to hang in their station.
- Invite five families to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at your church.
- Shovel snow or do a random act of kindness for a neighbor during the Christmas season.
- Send a cashier’s check or gift card to a family who is struggling with finances with a note saying, “Somebody from the Church of the Nazarene loves you.”
- Invite a single person who would be alone for Christmas to join your Christmas celebration on December 25.
- Volunteer to help make and/or serve dinner at a local homeless shelter.
Let’s give the gift of Christmas to someone who needs to hear about Jesus this Christmas season!
Scott Rainey is director of Nazarene Discipleship International