By Rev. Doug Forbes
The old Salvation Army motto is “Sharing is Caring.” The Christmas Mittens activity will help your class members learn to share and learn to care about others.
For the Christmas Mittens activity you need: Bibles, Bible concordances, an artificial Christmas tree, scissors, pencils, craft magnets with sticky backs, yarn, clothes pins, tape, construction paper, markers or crayons, glitter glue and other decorative items that may be on hand.
Instruct your young people to use their Bibles and concordances to discover Bible passages about clothing. Allow time for each student to share his or her findings.
Ask the children to turn to Matthew 25:34-46, and have volunteers each read a verse until the entire passage has been read.
Re-read Mathew 25:37A-40 which says: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you? The King will reply, “I tell you the truth whatever you did to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me.” Explain that one of the reasons God has put us here is to help others, one of the best ways we can do that is by providing food and clothing for those in need during the Christmas season. Discuss how they can help meet needs through the Christmas Mittens project.
Make an outline of a mitten for the children to trace, and have each child trace and cut out four mittens using construction paper. The children can then write their names on each set of mittens, and decorate them with markers, crayons, glitter glue and any other decorative materials you may have on hand. Create two separate pairs of mittens by attaching them together with tape on the bake side, and then tying them together with yarn for an artistic touch.
The children can then attach sticky magnets to the back of one set of their mittens. This set is to take home and place on the refrigerator to gently remind them to pray for folks who need food and clothing and to remind them to bring something to their house of worship to help meet those needs.
Have the children take the second set of mittens and connect them all together to create a garland. Set up a Christmas tree in the hall at your house of worship, and display the mitten garland above it. Attach one real pair of mittens to the tree with a clothespin and place other clothespins on the tree.
During the next service at your house of worship have your class members announce that they are collecting clothing and food for the Salvation Army, and that anyone who would like to participate can attach mittens and hats to the tree and place larger clothing items and non- perishable food under the tree.