Christmas has now become quite an international holiday. Many immigrants and international students will have celebrated it in some way in their own country. You can invite them to join you for an American (Canadian, etc.) Christmas holiday. Here are just a few things you could do:
“Americans often put stockings with little gifts around the fireplace. The children open them on Christmas morning. We’re going to go stuff stockings for the homeless. Want to come along?”
“We’re going Christmas caroling—singing songs to cheer people up. Here’s a CD of some of the songs so you can be ready to join us. You don’t have to sing well, it’s just fun. People love to listen.”
“Our family likes to get together to eat at Christmas. Would you like to join us? We’d love to have you come.”
“There’s a big Christmas play (or concert or nativity scene) this Wednesday night at seven. I have some extra tickets. Do you want to join me?”
“We’re going without some of the extra gifts this year and putting the money on a Christmas tree at church for those who are hungry in Africa. Would you like to help us do it too?”
You will notice that most of the things above are service oriented. This is important because Christmas often digresses into the rich getting more. People who have recently come from intensely poor situations can feel deeply pained by the abundance and excess they see in other countries. Focusing on giving to those in need will better capture their hearts for Jesus.
A good way to handle this is to talk together about how all the waste at Christmas and see if they would like to join you in giving gifts to those in desperate need. Each year you can find great ideas in ADRA’s Really Useful Gift Catalog or ASAP’s Priceless Gift Catalog.
There will be many opportunities for you to tell the real meaning behind Christmas—the story of Jesus’ birth. There are many connections to things they see around them (lights and the star, gifts and the wise men, giving and Jesus’ great gift). Click here for the Christmas story written for those who’ve never heard it before.
The Meaning of Christmas
If people ask you about Santa Clause, you can say, “It’s a pretend part of the holiday. The idea about Santa Clause came from a real man who lived quite awhile ago who loved to give gifts to children. Then people added more stories.”