Christmas Shopping Spree

Last evening was one of my favorite events with my 6th grade Bible club girls. Christmas Shopping Spree!  Who wouldn’t enjoy taking a carload of girls shopping?  This annual event is one I look forward to each December.  No matter how diverse their interests, or how cliquish they may be, this is one activity that really helps them gel.

Are you thinking, “Really?! How can that be?”

I do not lie; I am not imagining things. They really do come together as a group!  You see, not one item is purchased for themselves. We are Christmas shopping for a girl about their age, who otherwise may not have any presents to unwrap.

The girls were encouraged to bring a few dollars, then on the way to the store they added up the total amount.  From there, they brainstormed and shopped.  These girls decided to get several small items rather than just one gift. My job was made easy.  I had no squabbling; everyone was included, and they made those dollars stretch.

After making their purchases, we returned to the church for gift wrapping. A couple girls brought homemade items to add so we had a couple boxes filled with goodies.  As they wrapped and signed a Christmas letter, their conversations continued with hopes this girl would have a good Christmas. Shopping for another girl about their age was easy for them. The girls bought items they themselves would enjoy.  What especially warmed my heart was hearing the most precious prayer prayed by one of my 6th grade girls. A prayer for another girl that we only know as a number to keep it confidential. We don’t know the family situation, but a beautiful blessing was prayed for her and her family.

Each year I watch how this Christmas gift shopping and giving pulls these young ladies together.  It is an experience that takes their eyes off themselves, and they embrace the joy in giving to someone in need. It is a small way to show Christ’s love, and follow the command that we should love one another.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:16-18
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