Yesterday, through a fluke, my friend was unable to go to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with us.
Stuck with extra tickets, we decided to go to the movie and snatch up two people and give them a Christmas present.
Turns out, one person ahead of us was a single mom with her two children and she was going to the standard showing 30 mins ahead of us (it was 5 mins before showtime).
She was so happy to be able to take them to the 3D RPX show..sons were pretty charged too.
"Thank you so much, you made my weekend!"
– Michelle Barzal, Munroe Falls, OH
One of the Sunday School teachers at our church suggested that we read The Sparkle Box to all our Sunday School-aged kids, pre-school through 5th grade. The kids will write down their "gifts to Jesus" on a piece of paper and that paper will be displayed on a bulletin board decorated especially for The Sparkle Box project, for all the congregation to see! This is a first for our church! We're excited to see what the kids decide to give to others!
– Debby Mason, Geneseo, IL
I pastor three small churches. We worshipped jointly on the first Sunday of Advent and I read The Sparkle Box. Each church has been provided with a sparkle box to fill with their gifts to Jesus. I plan to read from the box on Christmas Eve when we worship together again, to see what gifts we bring to Jesus. It is a lovely book and I pray my parishioners will be inspired.
– Donna Yanosy, Slippery Rock, PA
At Crossroads Community Church we have read an extra Biblical Christmas story each year for 11 years at a brunch the Sunday before Christmas. This year we will be reading the Sparkle Box on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and another story about giving to Jesus each week after, while challenging our people to fill the sparkle box for us to share our gifts to Jesus at our brunch.
– Dow Tippett, Wilmington, OH
I shared The Sparkle Box last year with my Senior Pastor (I'm the Children's & Youth Ministry person), and this year we are building our entire Advent worship plan around it--complete with an extra-large Sparkle Box for the congregation to put their notes into!
– Moira Darone, Alameda, CA
Brylee, age 6, donates eight inches of her hair to Children With Hair Loss. When asked why she cut her hair she replied, “to donate it to little children so they can have hair. This makes Jesus happy and its nice.” Brylee has one more thing to add to her Sparkle Box this year. Brylee is learning whatever she does for people in need, she does for Him. Brylee also likes to donate her own toys every Christmas.
– Sheila Ryder, Centerville, TX
My wife and i built a house, sparked by the Sparkle Box book for a grieving family. Please see the 2 links for the dedication.
GOD has Blessed us so we can Bless someone else! GREAT Community involvement! They now ALL have a Sparkle Box book:)
– Harry Pierce, Rome, GA
Every year,10 friends from our Church,with our mission called " www.GracingSpaces.com come together for Christmas dinner at my house. Each year I find a different book with a different "take" to the Christmas story. This years ended up being The Sparkle box.In Prep.I took a BIG box and 10 small and sprayed them with silver-glitter spray.Outside the door the big pretty box with a huge bow and lights meet them-oh how pretty-on each plate was the smaller ones-and in the middle of the table a silver lined box with pen and paper-now the were curious. Between main and dessert,just as always in was "story time".ALL was touched and each wrote down,and placed it in the small box.
– ruth hansen, Falls Church, VA
Read this book with my pre-K class and we talked about how they have offered gifts to Jesus. Next year, we will read it in the fall in conjunction with our learning how to be a friend and also with our service learning projects. It is a wonderful resource - I also shared it with my great-niece and granddaughter.
– Teresa Gambrell, Chattanooga, TN
I actually only heard about The Sparkle Box just before Christmas. Since there wasn't time to act on it, I decided to bring it to our church Ladies' Meeting in January. We talked about our gifts to God all year and then each decorated a Sparkle Box to keep out all year. We will fill it each month with gifts and still keep the tradition of opening it Christmas morning. I pray they are all running over!
– Dale Starling, Henagar, AL
One of the traditions of my extended family, at our annual Christmas Eve gathering is for me to do a reading. It has been quite challenging to find something new and appropriate each Christmas for three generations of listeners. This year, when it appeared that I would have to recycle a previous selection, I happened upon The Sparkle Box and saw that it was perfect. At the conclusion of the reading,in lieu of writing on slips of paper, we had a moment of quiet reflection and "wished" all our gifts of the past year, both tangible and intangible,into the box for the Child whose birth we celebrate.
– Natalie Wensley, Rochester, NH
Our Women's Sunday School class read The Sparkle Box the week after Thanksgiving. We decorated a box with "jewels" that represented things for which we were thankful. Each week women wrote on slips of papers gifts they had given to Jesus that week and put in the box. At our Christmas get-together we passed the box around and pulled out the slips of paper and read all the acts of ministry that had been done in Jesus' name.
– Jane Koppenheffer, Mechanicsburg, PA
My oldest daughter loves to pass food out for the food bank. We do that once a month. My youngest daughter plays violin for the assisted living around the corner every Sunday.
– Leigh Ann Phillips, Kahului, HI
I bought the book for my Niece and Nephew for Christmas, and as I read the book through, I thought it was a great idea to present to the Christian Ed Committee. And it snowballed from there, now we are having an event at church called "Let's do Christmas".
The youth at the church will be doing a live Nativity with animals. Santa will be on hand to tell the story of the first Christmas and pay homage to the baby Jesus. And an area will be there for the making of Sparkle Boxes with an explanation about them. We are hoping to spread the tradition in our area.
It was something to see the Holy Spirit at work in our meeting that day. In a short time we had planned our event, we hope to improve in future years to come. Thank You Jill Hardie.
– Barbara Snyder, Cowansville, PA
I heard about the Sparkle Box at my church. I chose to purchase the book. I have the box sitting on my fireplace mantle. I am putting slips of paper in it with things my daughter and I are doing this Christmas season for Jesus...delivering meals to the needy at Christmas, ministering to a local boys home, filling a KARE package for a local underpriveleged girl, my daughter helping out with special needs kids at her school for starters.
– Donna Eleo, Canton, OH
For a few years now, we have given Jesus a gift from our heart for His Birthday. Last year, it varied from a year of gratitude instead of complaining (mom), Joyfulness even though times were tough financially, (dad), a good attitude (10 yr old girl), think before acting, (8 yr old boy), and less TV (6 yr old boy). We shared them with each other on Christmas morning and put them on our refrigerator to help us remember them all year long.
– Krista Harris, Lee's Summit, MO
Our church has been given the opportunity to host the yearly Christmas Eve service at the local ski resort for visitors and condo owners. In the past few years we have had over 200 people attend and try to have them come from all over the world so there are many traditions represented in the room. We present the story of Christ's birth and the true biblical meaning of Christmas through Bible reading, drama and hymns. This year we are reading "The Sparkle Box" and are encouraging people to give
– Pastor Greg Sumner, Vernon, BC
For children who are not able to read yet, you can help them glue or tape a picture that represents their gift to Jesus on a slip of paper and put it in The Sparkle Box. On Christmas morning, when the slips of paper are read to Jesus, they will be able to participate in sharing their gift!
– Jill Hardie, North Canton, OH
We will read TSB this Sunday as part of our Birthday Breakfast for Jesus elementary Sunday school event. Children will go home with a sheet that has a blank chore chart on one side and a few suggestions for making their own sparkle box at home. A few of us are even getting together tonight with boxes, bags, jars, wrapping paper, ribbon and glitter to make a few examples for parents to see, too. :) Thank you for a GREAT story!
– Lorene Lamb, MA
We have a tradition of giving birthday gifts to Jesus by serving others (Matthew 25:35-36), so I was excited to share The Sparkle Box with my children. They were so moved by the book that they asked to shop in the Compassion catalog with part of the money we were going to spend on their Christmas presents!
– Jennifer A. Janes, AR
We are doing The Sparkle Box for the first time this year. So far we gave a donation towards a revival concert at a college campus in our home state of TX and we bought a local girl a board game via our church's blessing tree mission. Excited to see what tomorrow brings. We want to do something every day until Christmas.
– Aileen Biesiadecki, TX
My name is Kim Krug, my mother and I own an independent children's bookstore in Clarence, NY called Monkey See, Monkey Do...Children's Bookstore. Our website is MONKEYSREAD.COM We LOVE the Sparkle Box! We have been hand-selling to our cusotmers and local schools and we're on our third shipment! Our store is all about how we "bring our books to life" and provide unique literacy-based programs for children of all ages!
– Kim Krug, NY
We are going to incorporate the Sparkle Box idea into our Christmas giving for kids at our church. Each class will have a Sparkle Box where the kids will put money each week toward buying jackets and blankets for children in India and Nepal. Each child who gives money will write it on a jacket or blanket shaped die cut and we'll hang them on our bulletin board to show our progress. Thanks for the inspiration!
– Kris Lackey, OH
I just ordered gift cards for the Water Project, http://thewaterproject.org/giftcards/
The kids will open these gifts on Christmas Morning & then be able to go online & apply them to the country of their choice.
– Jennifer Curry, RI
I read the book to the children in my church the Sunday before Advent started for the children's message. We put a sparkle box in the narthex of the church. Each person was given a piece of paper with "My gift to Jesus(act of kindness)" printed on it 4 times with space to write about their gifts. The kids and adults will bring these back to church each Sunday of Advent, and the pastor will open the sparkle box and read the contents at our worship service Christmas Eve.
– Sally Newbury, IL
I just found out about this AMAZING book and can't wait to introduce it to my family this year. Before I knew this book existed, I actually have been planning a month long list of intentional ways we are GIVING this Christmas.
– Michelle Barreto, TX
Artwork featured above is from The Sparkle Box, published by Ideals Children's Books.
Art copyright © 2012 by Christine Kornacki. TheSparkleBox.com and its contents are copyright protected by Jill Hardie.
Did The Sparkle Box book tug on your heartstrings?
Do you have plans to honor Jesus with a special gift this Christmas?
Tell us about it!