Motivational materials for The Sparkle Box tradition.
Just like Sam and his family in The Sparkle Box book, written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki, you can make The Sparkle Box a part of your own Christmas tradition.
Whether you're married with children, or without children, a grandparent, or single – you can honor Jesus with a gift on His birthday. See Sparkle Box Gift Ideas for inspiration.
Motivational materials and ideas for children.
There are many great ways to make choosing a gift for Jesus meaningful for children.
Encourage them to contribute their own money toward Jesus' gift.
- Consider making a chore chart that lists special chores they can do to earn money they can use to buy a gift for Jesus.
- Consider matching their contribution.
- Some children like the feeling of buying a gift "all by themselves."
Help them find things they can afford to buy.
Like Sam in The Sparkle Box, they can purchase a pair of mittens.
Discuss the different kinds of needs there are in the world.
- NetworkforGood.org is a great resource to explore together with your child. It lists over one million charities registered in the United States.
- Consider matching their contribution.
- You may want to think about issues you want to educate your children about and use Network for Good and its accompanying links as a resource.
- It's always a good idea to review information before sharing it with your child to make sure it's age-appropriate.
Explore issues or concerns that touch your child's heart.
- Does your child have a heart for animals?
God loves His creatures and there are many charities that help take care of them.
- Is your child an avid recycler?
Look for charities that protect the Earth God made.
- Does your child worry about children who are abused?
Teach them they can make a difference by supporting a child advocate charity.
- Most children can relate to issues surrounding basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
If your child hasn't shown empathy for a specific cause, charities that support basic needs are a great place to start.
Empower children with the message Jesus taught us:
We can make a difference.
As you discuss ideas with your child, reinforce the beautiful message that Jesus shared – we are the light of the world.
We are meant to shine His love through the things we do for each other.
Special materials for teachers and group leaders.
If you are a teacher or group leader, we have special materials that will help you communicate the tradition of The Sparkle Box to your children, parents, or adult group members.
Sparkle Box ideas for teachers and group leaders.
Ideas to make The Sparkle Box moment shine!
- On Christmas morning, take the time to open Jesus's gift first.
Keep your expectations realistic for the age.
The younger the children, the shorter their attention span during this special time.
You may be surprised at the reverence your children show.
It really is a magical moment!
- Say a prayer when you present The Sparkle Box gifts to Jesus.
Before opening the box and reading the gifts, offer a prayer honoring Jesus on His special day.
A prayer author Jill Hardie and her husband Tim say with their children:
Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to be a light to our world.
These gifts are for You, in honor of Your Birthday.
For You taught us, whatever we do for those in need, we do for You... (proceed with reading your gifts).
- If your child can read, encourage them to read a gift from the box.
If they choose the gift, they may want to share a reason they picked that gift for Jesus.
For example, Dear Jesus I gave a gift of a water filter for a family in Africa because water that is dirty can make people very sick and they can die from it.
With clean water, this family won't have to worry.
The more the child can verbalize the gift, the more it will mean to them.
- When you are finished reading your gifts, take a minute to celebrate with a short prayer.
Thank Jesus for coming to Earth, being our Savior and for the beautiful day you are about to celebrate.
Tell Him you are happy to have honored Him with gifts for His birthday and that you are thankful to celebrate His day with the love of family and friends (or if you are alone – with the joy of His everlasting love surrounding you!).
May you be blessed and be a blessing with The Sparkle Box tradition!
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Artwork featured above is from The Sparkle Box, published by Ideals Children's Books.
Art copyright © 2012 by Christine Kornacki. TheSparkleBox.com and its contents are copyright protected by Jill Hardie.