by Autumn Ward
It was late fall in Georgia and the cold weather had finally come to stay. Thoughts of the holidays filled my mind as I sat in the car rider line to pick up my kids from school. They piled in with their coats and backpacks and we headed home.
As we sat at the kitchen table going through school papers and eating a snack, my oldest daughter, who was 6 at the time, announced,
“Mama, we need to get Quinn some socks so his feet won’t get cold when we play on the playground.”
This began a conversation about my daughter’s favorite friend, their love for football and cold feet. It ended with us getting back in the car for a trip to Walmart. I watched my daughter as she looked for the perfect socks while I was trying to remember the last time I had noticed a need in a friend and cared enough to do something about it.
Later that night, we came up with a plan for giving Quinn the socks in a way that wouldn’t draw any attention. While he wasn’t looking, my daughter unzipped his backpack and stuffed the pack of socks way down deep with hopes he would find them later that night. The excitement on my daughter’s face a few days later when she told us Quinn was wearing a pair of the socks she had given him was pure joy. She didn’t care that he didn’t know where they came from. She was just happy that her friend would have warm feet when they played outside—“Mission Compassion” complete.
I believe all parents would agree that we want our kids to grow up being people who show compassion to others—people who care enough to do something about someone else’s need. Whether it’s caring for their family or friends, people in their community or people on the other side of the world, we want our kids to be people of compassion.
I also believe we, as church leaders, want to equip parents win when it comes to helping their kids have the best life possible. We here at Orange want more than anything to provide you with materials and resources that will help you help families have a better life—and what life isn’t better when filled with compassion?
Our gift to you this Christmas—and to the families of your church—is an Advent Calendar. The design is simple. It’s easy to print and hand out or email to the families in your church and community. All you have to add is a “Merry Christmas” and a smile. Each day has a part of the Christmas story to read and an act of compassion families can do together. The entire month is visible so parents can look ahead to pick and choose which compassion activities they are able to do. The hope is that by December 25th families will have read God’s story of compassion and begun writing their own story of compassion by doing a few of the suggested activities.
God saw a need in humanity, and He cared enough to do something about it. That’s what Christmas is all about—the compassion of our Heavenly Father towards us. Now it’s up to us to show the world, or at least our neighbor, that same compassion and help our kids to do the same. Because, it’s never just a pair of socks. It’s the best life possible.
Click the links below to download three variations of our Advent Calendar. Choose the one that works best for your church’s families and determine how you are going to distribute it. You will want to make sure your families have access to the calendar before December 1st.