Not Just Cookies

It's one of my favorite days of the Christmas season. Shortly after lunch 16 kids will descend on my home. We'll decorate cookies, play some games, make a big mess and have a whole lot of fun. It's cookie party day. Eight years ago, when my oldest was 2 and my youngest was just a baby, we invited a couple of friends over to decorate cookies. The party has grown and grown since then. This year, I made 138 cookies, and when I get done writing this blog, I'm going to go make several pounds of frosting. By the time everyone leaves, there will be sprinkles all over my kitchen.

At 2:30, though, 14 kids will walk out my door, having had a good time. They will have spent two hours knowing they are loved. They will have experienced some of the joy of Christmas in our home.

The cookie party is a lot of work. It's two hours of high energy, exhausting fun. And it's my best chance to be an influence on my kids' friends during the Christmas season. This year's theme is "A Charlie Brown Christmas." We've turned the party into an opportunity to help others. Everyone is bringing a couple of cans of food to donate to a local food bank. We're also going to make blankets for Project Linus, which provides blankets to kids who are in the hospital. There will be plenty of fun and food, but by the time they, leave these kids will have taken a few minutes to focus on the needs of others during this season in which kids often focus only on their own wants and wishes.

We're also planning to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which is a way to sneak in the true meaning of Christmas with these kids. Our cookie party offers us a chance to influence the lives of kids who are not our own, even if it's in a small way.

We all have opportunities to be an influence on the kids who come through the front doors of our homes. We don't have to go halfway around the world to influence people for Jesus. We can do it in our own homes. We can have conversations with our kids' friends. We can slip Jesus into a party. We can be an example of what a family centered on Jesus looks like.

Don't be afraid to be an example of Jesus to the kids in your life. Don't be afraid to offer Godly advice. Don't be afraid to slip Jesus into the conversation. Isaiah 52:7 says "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news." We want to have beautiful feet when it comes to our kids and their friends.

You may be the only Jesus some of the kids in your life ever see. Use the opportunities God sends your way to be an influence for Him. You never know, you may be the instrument God uses to change a child's life. There's still time to create special moments with your kids this Christmas, check out Lori's new e-book Everyday Christmas. It's available for Kindle, Nook and as a PDF file.