Object Lesson: Gift Wrapped Christmas

We are drawn to the extravagantly wrapped gifts in red bows and colored paper. But it is not the packaging that we treasure, but the gift. Sometimes the packaging can give clues as to what is inside, but sometimes the gift it contains is a complete surprise and totally unexpected. The gift of the first Christmas was also not wrapped as the world expected. The Jews wanted a mighty warrior with a sword in one hand and the king’s crown in the other. But instead, God feels his greatest gift: an innocent, defenseless and vulnerable baby, wrapped in cloth, not wrapping paper.

Games that use wrapping paper

  • All wrapped up – Tear up various types of Christmas wrapping paper and place it inside a large sheet. More is better. There are two rounds in this game. In the first round, each group wraps one of its members with adhesive tape (STICKY SIDE OUT) from the ankles to just under the arms. Arms must NOT be wrapped. Be sure to emphasize the STICKY SIDE OUT. The first team to fully wrap their teammate in making tape with no cracks at all wins. In the second round, first, throw all the torn wrapping paper on the floor of the playing area and then the teams work to roll the player wrapped in as much wrapping paper as possible. After a couple of minutes, tell the teams to stop. Reward the team with the most immersive player attached to his teammate. Make sure to take group photos!
  • Christmas dice gift exchange – Have everyone sit in a circle and start with a gift. Play a Christmas carol while passing 1 to 3 dice (space them). Each person rolls and passes the dice. If they roll a six, they can exchange gift-wrapped packages with whoever they want. At the end of the song, everyone keeps the package in front of them.
  • Christmas unwrap– Wrap a gift with several layers of paper and heavy-duty tape to make it difficult to unwrap. The youths line up and then have to roll double six on a pair of dice, run to a baseball bat, spin 5 times around the bat, then go to the treat and put on a beanie, snow / ski gloves and then start unwrapping the gift. – the first to do so wins the prize. As soon as you get to the present, the next person can start rolling the dice to start the process over. When someone new comes to the present, the first person must stop, remove their clothes, and then run back to the end of the line. The young man who successfully unwraps the gift stays with him.
  • Christmas Wrap Up– You will need a lot of wrapping paper, tape and a bow for each team. The goal is to be the first team to fully wrap someone and tie a bow on their head like a giant Christmas present. Make sure your students don’t forget to make a gift tag written for who the gift is and who it is from. You may have a prize for the most fully wrapped, as well as the most creative and best wrapped. Be sure to take some photos along the way.
  • Christmas wrapping paper party – Cut out squares from several different patterns from Christmas wrapping paper. You want to have a square for each person in your group. Put them all in a box with a small hole cut out at the top. You will also want two of the squares to be identical in design and pattern, but all the others to be different. Fold each square and place it inside the box. Let each young man choose a square. Once everyone has a square, announce that the first two people to find matching squares will win a prize.
  • Gift ball – Save wrapping paper, bubble wrap, cardboard, plastic, and scraps of packaging used to create a ball. To create the gift ball, start by wrapping a small prize or even money in a piece of used wrapping paper. Apply an additional layer of wrap and pieces of packaging to create a ball, securing it tightly. If you are short of wrapping paper, you can also use magazines, plastic bags, newspapers, and other things you have around the house. Add a few layers of these between the layers of wrapping paper. You can secure the layers with any kind of leftover tape, yarn, yarn and pieces of tape, etc. You can add candy and little treats to the ball in additional layers as you go. The more the better so that everyone has a chance to get something. The bigger the ball the better, especially if you have a large group. To play, have the youth group members sit in a circle with the gift ball and a pair of dice. A young man begins to unwrap the ball as fast as he can while the player to his left repeatedly rolls the dice until he gets a 7. When he does, the ball is passed to him to unwrap and the dice are passed to the next player. Tearing off layers and rolling dice continues until someone finally reaches the prize and claims it as the winner. You can make it more challenging by having the player wear winter gloves.
  • Guess Gift – Gift wrap a variety of common items and tag them with numbers (socks, ornaments, a candy cane, holly, pine cones, bells, an angel, Jesus in a manger, a can of eggnog, a Santa hat , a reindeer, a cookie, and any other common Christmas items you can find. Distribute the gifts and give each person a little time to feel the gifts and make their guesses about what is inside each one. Give them a sheet of paper to number and write down your guesses. The youth who make the most correct guesses are the winners.
  • Wrapping paper relay – Cut out the front pictures of several old Christmas greeting cards and hide each piece in a separate box. Wrap the gift boxes. Divide the youth into two or more teams and place the stack of wrapped boxes on a table at the other end of the room. You should have a set of boxes and a picture for each team. The first player on each team runs to the table, unwraps a gift, grabs their picture piece, and runs to their next teammate. The rest of the team has a turn until all the pieces of the image have been unwrapped. Next, teams must race to assemble and correctly identify their image. The first team to do this wins!
  • Gift wrap snowball fight – Take a bunch of used wrapping paper and tie it into balls. Divide the room into halves or rooms so that you have one team in each section. Throw the crumpled wrapping paper in the middle of the room. On the march, the youngsters throw the balls of wrapping paper at each other and at other sections as fast as they can. When time is up, the team with the least amount of wrapping paper in their section wins.
  • Penguin Gift Race – Divide the youth into two teams. Have the players at the front of the line place a gift-wrapped box between their knees and go to a designated spot and return. The next in line does the same until all the youth have had their turn. If the gift falls off, they must go back to start and start walking again. The team that finishes first wins.
  • Siamese Twins Gift Wrapping Race – For this Christmas game you will need to have a box, wrapping paper, scissors and tape for each team. Divide your youth group into partners who will stand side by side with one free hand and the other around their team member’s waist (as if they were a two handed person, one left hand and one right hand). The object of the game is to see which Siamese Twin team can wrap their gift (correctly) in the shortest time possible.

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

Unfortunately, because God came to us wrapped in a human body and not in his majesty and glory, many people on the first Christmas missed him. The gift was not wrapped as expected. There was no special welcome, no special preparations, no grand entrance, and indeed, there was not even room for him in the inn or a real bed to sleep. The son of God was wrapped in rags and lying in a manger, a trough.

Imagine focusing on the wrapping paper of a Christmas present and treasuring the wrapping and losing and throwing away the gift.

Unfortunately, too many people in the world today are so focused on all the Christmas wrapping – the gifts, the joy, the celebrations, the wishes for peace – that they forget the real gift – that God sent his Son to save. to the world. .

What matters is not the outer packaging, but the inner gift and what we do with it.

We don’t have to win a gift, work for it, or do anything other than receive it. Read Romans 2: 8: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this does not come from you, it is the gift of God.”

Read Luke 2: 1-20

The people God first told about the birth to were shepherds. In general, the shepherds were the poor, the unemployed, the powerless, the least educated, the uneducated, perhaps even the marginalized. Often when we buy gifts for others, we reserve the best gifts for the special people, the ones who will surely give us something in return, the ones who are our favorites. But the gift of Jesus was first announced to the shepherds, to those who had no titles, to whom they could give little back.

God had given the world a gift that he did not think it wanted or needed, and certainly not as expected, and he presented the gift to a group of people who were not the powerful, the rulers, or the most admired. It was a seemingly ordinary gift, in ordinary packaging, given to ordinary people.

MAKE IT PRACTICAL

The pastors

Read Luke 2: 1-20

* Why do you think the angels appeared to the shepherds and not to someone else?

* Could the shepherds have chosen to accept or decline the angels’ invitation? What did they choose to do?

* How long do you think it took them to decide?

* Why do you think it was important for them to see the Baby Jesus first hand?

* Why did the shepherds leave everything to go find out about a baby? Why were they so excited?

* What does this baby mean to them?

* What does this baby mean to us?

* Why was the birth of Christ good news?

* What are some lessons, truths, attitudes, and responses that we can learn from pastors?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

* Do you still find a sense of wonder when you consider God’s gift to the world, or has it lost its shine? Are you more focused on the Christmas wrappers or the gift that God sent?

* What are you waiting for this Christmas?

* How can you have a deeper first-hand experience with Christ this Christmas?

* What can you do to help others see through all the holiday packaging and clearly see the true gift of Christmas?

* The gift is not really a bear until we decide to receive it. It is of no use to us unless we take it for ourselves, unwrap it, and make it our own. Have you received the gift of Christ in your life?

SCRIPTURES

Luke 2: 11-12 (NIV) – “Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying down to eat.”

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