Teach your children to encourage and inspire others with homemade prayer gifts at Christmastime. Here are some creative craft ideas that show children the true meaning of Christ, God’s greatest gift, coming to earth. Be sure your child delivers the gift personally, so he or she sees the joy and gratitude on the face of the recipient!
A Huggable Prayer for Another Child.
Things you need: A plain calico or cotton-covered toy such as a teddy bear. A fine-tipped permanent-ink fabric pen.
Give a prayer that can be hugged! Purchase a plain pale-colored, firmly-stuffed soft toy. Write short prayers for the recipient on the bear or other toy and let your child sign his/her name at the end of the prayer. If your child is too young to write on the toy, have him/her compose the prayer and write the prayer on the toy for the child. Let the child wrap the gift with tinsel, bows, tissue paper or a box decorated by your son or daughter. Give the bear (toy) to a mother-to-be, a young child, someone in need of comfort and encouragement…even a student leaving home for the first time.
“A time to embrace…” Ecclesiastes 3:5.
Bible Promise Prayer Book.
Things you need: Computer with a good graphics program and color printer, or pens and crayons. Christmas stickers may also be used. White paper (for a large book) or large white note cards (for a smaller child’s book.) Hole punch and Christmas ribbon.
Create a booklet of promises that your child may want to pray for a friend or family member. You can use a Bible promise book (an easy-read Bible translation). Choose favorite Bible verses. Psalm verses can be meaningful choices for your child. Match lovely pictures from your computer graphics program, or use stickers to go with each verse. Be sure to personalize each verse by including the recipient’s name with the book. Treat each page of the card as a page in the book. Create an attractive cover and print this on card stock. The child may also make a collage of wrapping paper to make a cover for the prayer book. Hole-punch and use ribbon as the book binder. (You may also want to go to an office supply or print shop to laminate the book or simply use clear contact paper).
“’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” Jeremiah 29:11.
Things you need: cardboard, a water glass for tracing, or tracing paper. A photo of your child. Glitter, stars, foil, or wrapping paper. A wire ornament hook or ribbon.
Create a two-sided ornament by tracing the ornament shape onto the cardboard. Cut the traced shape to make the ornament. Be sure the ornament is large enough to accommodate the photo and the name of the child. Glue the photo of your child in the center of the ornament. Write a short prayer for the recipient on the other side of the ornament. Be sure the name of your child is written at the end of the prayer. If your child is old enough, they will want to write the prayer. You may want to write the prayer on the paper if your child is younger. Go crazy. Let the child glue, color and glitter the ornament as much as they like! (You can always sweep up the mess later)!
“You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful” Psalm 139:13-14.
Things you need: Card cut into bookmark shape(s). Scissors, Rubber stamps, inks or markers, stickers and lace or other trim, hole punch, thin cloth ribbon.
Create a bookmark to give to a friend. Use all kinds of craft materials to make simple bookmarks. Match the theme of the decorations to the theme of the prayer. Write a personalized prayer for your friend on the back of the bookmark. Punch a hole in the bookmark and knot a length of ribbon through the hole. Give the bookmark as a gift to go with an encouraging book.
“Let the reader understand” Mark 13:14.
Things you need. Fabric (different colors and patterns) and fabric pens. Fusible webbing Sewing thread, Embroidery threads. Batting and binding for older children.
Create a quilt for your child, or for the wall, as a prayer reminder. Design a quilt or a patchwork wall hanging with equal-sized squares. Add a half-inch to the finished size of the squares to allow for edging. Create designs for the squares that remind you of different things to pray about. Many of the traditional quilting designs lend themselves to being prayer reminders.
Angels: prayer for protection.
Hearts: reminders of God’s amazing love.
Flowers: thanks for God’s creation.
Car: prayer for safe travel.
House: prayer for the home and family.
Birds: songs of praise to God.
Hands and Hearts: prayer for God to use our hands to show love to others.
Flags: prayer for our country.
Gold Crown: praise to God.
Appliqué or iron designs onto the squares using scrap fabrics and fusible webbing, or use a traditional appliqué method. You may find quilting books or tracing designs at your local craft store. Use fabric pens or embroidery for any words your wish to write on the quilt. Sew or iron the squares together. You may also buy a solid color quilt and iron the designs onto the fabric. Adapt this idea to suit the child’s skills and time frame. Use hem tape and trim for the edging.
This could be a lovely gift for a mother-to-be, a baby or elderly person.
“She makes coverings for her bed” Proverbs 31:22.
Things you need: A blank doorknob sign or stiff cardboard to make your own sign. Markers, paints, transfers, stencils, etc.
Create a prayer to hang on someone’s door. Write a prayer on the blank sign with fine permanent pens. Decorate the prayer in any way you like. Laminate or seal the sign with clear contact paper. Prayers for protection are especially appropriate for the door hangers.
“Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” Deuteronomy 6:9.
A Christmas Cookie Tin.
Things you need: Sugar cookie ingredients or pre-made sugar cookie dough, a cookie tin. Plastic colored tissue paper, ribbon and trim, fabric glue, cardboard and art supplies to make the gift card for the tin. Photograph of your child.
Bake sugar cookies from your favorite cookie recipe and cut them into rounds. Put Bible verse references on the cookies with tubes of icing or a piping bag. Write or type the corresponding verses onto the inside of the gift card. Include the photo of your child on the front of the card. Wrap the circumference of the tin with curly ribbon and tie the hole-punched card to the ribbon. Another variation is to put a single word on each cookie, like love, peace, joy and use a corresponding verse on the card using the key word.
“How sweet are the taste of Your words, sweeter than honey” Psalm 119:103.
Be creative this Christmas. Save time to “craft” with the little people who live in your house. Have your child make a prayer gift for someone who is hurting or in need (an elderly person, a sick person or someone in a homeless shelter). Take a picture of the recipient with your child on your phone or with your camera. Print the photo. Place the photo in your child’s Bible. Pray for the person who received the gift every night as a part of your little one’s bedtime prayers.
Ideas included in this article are compiled with 100 Creative Prayer Ideas for Kids by Karen Holford. Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing, 2003.