By Adriel Booker.
With the Christmas season fast approach, perhaps you've been wondering what you can do for a Mission Partner overseas. Though these suggestions come from a northern-hemisphere perspective, they should help you come up with something creative that you can do. And don't forget that your Mission Partner may work where Christmas means winter!
It’s almost Christmas and you want to do something fun for your favourite missionary or overseas worker… How incredibly thoughtful of you! Whether it’s a care package you’d like to send or you need an online gift-giving option, we’ve got some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
The ‘skip the post office’ options:
1. Choose an experience. Google activities where your missionary lives and buy him/her an online gift certificate for an outing to the zoo, a day at the pool, a sightseeing sail, or something similar. This type of thing will vary widely by location (as you can tell by our summer suggestions!), but look for something fun that your missionary might not typically have the budget for.
2. iTunes gift card. Buy an iTunes gift certificate online or if you buy an actual card, just email them the number from the back. If you want to personalize it even more, buy them the next season of their favourite show or an upcoming album that’s soon to be released. How fun for them to be among the first to download a newly released entertainment item!
3. Kindle gift card. For the book lovers on your missionary list, this is a no-brainer! Even those who don’t have a kindle can read a book through the kindle app on their phone or computer.
4. Skype credit. Send them Skype credit so they can go crazy with all those calls to grandma over the holidays!
5. Prayer & scripture. Pray for your missionary and ask God to give you a meaningful scripture. Spend the time to write the scripture out, paraphrase your prayer, and send it in a nice email. They will be delighted you took the time!
6. Movie tickets. Look up their local cinema and buy them a gift certificate online. If you’re able, include enough for two tickets and $10-20 extra for popcorn and drinks. What a fun holiday treat!
7. Blow money. I know this sounds boring but what missionary wouldn’t enjoy some guilt-free spending money?! Send them a little extra to buy themselves something from their wish list or to go out for a nice meal.
8. Christmas bonus. Even better, give your missionary an actual Christmas bonus they can use however they need to. We all know how many extra expenses come up at Christmas, and missionaries tend to have pretty tight budgets to work with in the first place. A Christmas bonus might allow them to buy their friends, spouse, and children the gifts their budget might otherwise not afford them, host a neighbourhood Christmas party, put on a lovely holiday spread for their family, or pay the postage on all those Christmas cards they need to send out to family, friends, and supporters.
The ‘send a care package’ options:
9. Home country candy. Fill a little box with red and green holiday M&Ms and other Christmas treats they may not find in their place of service. [For Kiwis, why not Pineapple Lumps, Minties and Candy Canes?]
10. Scented candle. Depending on where your missionary serves, they may not get to enjoy the smells associated with their childhood Christmases. Consider sending them a candle scented with pine, cinnamon, peppermint, or another scent that reminds them of home.
11. Hot cider or hot chocolate packets. You might be surprised by the things your missionary misses. Even something as simple as hot cider packets [an American Christmas treat] can be a little taste of home for them over the holidays. [For Kiwis, why not some Milo or even a Whittakers chocolate bar with instructions for home-made hot-chocolate?]
12. Pinecones or tree sprigs. Send a small box of pinecones or sprigs to decorate the table with and add some familiar scents from home. (Check with the customs website of your missionary’s country to make sure these will be accepted.) [For Kiwis, how about a piece of Kiwiana or one of these beautiful post-card sized pop-out native birds available at many souvenir stores and museums?]
13. Something silly. One year my mom sent us a small bucket filled with soft, fluffy plush snowballs. It was a hilarious and weird gift but has turned into a beloved tradition to have our living room snowball fights in the middle of our summer Christmas Down Under.
14. Holiday décor. For those serving in places where Christmas isn’t widely celebrated, consider sending a few small decorative items, a snow globe, small wreath, or Christmas printed napkins or hand towels.
15. Something for the team. If your missionary is serving with a partner or a team, consider including something the others on the team can enjoy along with them—a favourite Christmas movie on DVD (check the DVD region or send it via iTunes!), a box of chocolates to share, etc.
Are you a missionary or overseas worker reading this post? Tell us in the comments what would most bless you this Christmas!
This article has been re-blogged from the website of YWAM Sydney Newtown. Thanks for letting us share it! The original can be found here.
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