Teens and Christmas

Published Date: December 9th, 2009
Category: Holiday Fun

By Jan Sullivan

What do you want for Christmas this year? The question asked of every child and teen every year around November. Unfortunately what follows is usually a barrage of electronic gadgets, games, and phones; hi-tech toys that cost more than a house payment. Teens and Christmas tend to be a time of “I want this, I want that.”

What if this year the question was asked, “What are you willing to give this year for Christmas?” Instead of encouraging teens to focus on what they can get out of a Holiday known for it’s generosity and abundant spending, why don’t we turn the focus to it’s origin: the birth of a King. It is His birthday after all, not ours. Encourage your teens to begin thinking of ways they can give a gift to Him this Christmas. What would Jesus want from us on this very happy day?

He always encouraged us to take care of the less fortunate, the widowed, the orphans, the children. Ask them how they can give of themselves during this Holiday season to fulfill Christ’s dream of a Merry Christmas. Maybe they could go down to an inner city and volunteer time to play with the children, or help the children make a craft they can give to their parents for Christmas. Maybe they could help serve a meal or two at a homeless shelter. Maybe they could help at a rescue mission. Maybe they could help at a thrift store with stock.

There are multiple ways teens can give at Christmas. I will promise you that the blessings they receive from giving will last longer and be more memorable than any gadget we buy off the shelf for them. It is especially meaningful if they come up with their own ideas to serve or give than if we tell them what to do, but be prepared to give them some options or ideas to get their creative juices started.

Then next year, just maybe, when you accidentally ask them what they want for Christmas, they might just respond with, “I want to give back to Jesus.”

Jan Sullivan received a Masters Degree in Youth Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary. She served as a youth pastor for thirteen years in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. She published her first book, Forever Family, in July 2008. Her second, Never Alone, was published in August 2009. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her dog Abby and spends her time loving teenagers and consuming Christian fiction. Modeling her life after Christ, the great storyteller, Jan hopes that her stories will lead young people to make decisions to follow Christ. jan@aprilword.com and http://www.aprilword.com

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