During Christmas there is much talk about joy, and “Christmas Spirit”. There is some vague idea that you should conjure up some great memories, make some hot chocolate, go throw a snowball, and voila! You have the “Christmas Spirit”. If that does’t work to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then you should probably go to the store and spend way too much money. Buy gifts for yourself, those you love, and some people you may not like very well, and then certainly you will attain that satisfying feeling inside that everyone seems to be pursuing this time of year. If/when all that doesn’t work, don’t worry, there’s always next year!
The message that adults and children alike are receiving from every possible medium is that you should be joyful. However, the definition of joy that is (not) given is one of materialism and selfishness. If you give enough, then you will feel joyful, or if you get enough, then you will have joy. What children are not receiving enough of is an Biblical explanation of where and through whom joy is received. One of CEF’s lesser known ministries is called a “Party Club”. These clubs can be part of a regular weekly Good News Club, or a stand-alone celebration of Easter, summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or for any other occasion children can be gathered. In the case of a Christmas Party Club, children are taught the true reason for celebrating Christmas, and the way to attain true Joy. One party club this year was held in a home where children from the neighborhood came to celebrate a birthday party for Jesus. Songs were sung with guitars, kids heard the gospel, and presents were handed out. However, instead of trying to help kids have a Christmas experience through the giving of gifts, it was explained that the reason we give gifts on Christmas is because God gave us the ultimate gift in Jesus. We give gifts to each other to commemorate that greatest gift of all, and it isn’t something that fits under a tree or can be purchased at a store or online.