We discovered Jill Hardie’s The Sparkle Box a couple of years ago, but last year was the first year that we really made it a big part of our holiday celebration. It’s one we all really enjoyed, though, and I’m excited to be doing it again this year.
The book tells the story of a little boy and his family and the ways they serve their neighbors and community throughout the holiday season. The boy notices a sparkly present that sits on the mantle, but it’s not until Christmas morning that he realizes his mom has been filling the box with all of the kind things they’ve done throughout the month. Before they dive into their own presents, they open the sparkle box and read through all the gifts they’ve given to Jesus through their acts of service and charity.
Last year we used scraps of Christmas paper for our sparkle box activities, but this year I put together a simple printable to use to write down each of those. And honestly, you could do this with or without the book (although the book is a great introduction to the concept) or an actual sparkle box, using a jar or cookie tin instead.
I’ll be writing down all of our Christmas activities — things like filling Operation Christmas Child boxes, ringing the Salvation Army bell and hosting our hot cocoa stand for World Vision — and we’ll open the sparkle box and read through the papers before we start opening our own presents on Christmas morning. It’s a fun reminder for all of us that each of those things does matter and that we’re doing them for God’s glory and not just because we’re good people.
Projects from the archives:
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