Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Looking for a way to reach out to your community during the Christmas season? Here’s a great idea from Renee Myers:

By Renee Myers

A few years ago I became irritated with all the people trying to take Christ out of Christmas. That’s when I became a self-proclaimed Candy Cane Crusader for Christ.

Armed with a purse full of candy canes often tagged with a poem about the candy cane and how it relates to Jesus Christ, I set out each day during December to distribute my goodies to as many people as I can. I give them to the people at registers and drive-up windows, people standing in lines, cranky children, and even to cranky adults. Every time I do I say a cheery, “Merry Christmas!” It’s always fun to see their faces soften into smiles. Children of all ages cheer up when receiving the unexpected treat. Teens seem to get the most excited.

My inspiration to do this began a few years ago when our pastor was appalled to learn that his daughter had been instructed not to say, “Merry Christmas” to customers at the department store where she worked. She was told it might offend some people. Then I started realizing that stores were selling holiday trees not Christmas trees, and the same was true for Christmas lights. Reports started circulating of more businesses instructing employees not to say, “Merry Christmas”. I found myself saddened by these changes and angered by the attempts of society to take Christ out of Christmas.

The very merchants who were enticing us to do our Christmas shopping by spending our Christmas money in their fine establishments were the same merchants trying to denounce the very reason for the season! I decided that something had to be done to keep Christ at the center of our annual celebration of Christmas, and that’s when I became a Candy Cane Crusader for Christ. Employees might not be able to say, “Merry Christmas” to me, but I can say it to them!

In addition to casting out candy canes to those I encounter, I also keep a stash of candy canes tagged with the candy cane poem in our newspaper box, too. Neighbors and those driving by to see our home’s Christmas lights are invited to take the candy canes when they come by. This helps each of us remember that all the lights, decorations, gift-giving and celebrations are in honor of the birth of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please join me in becoming a Candy Cane Crusader for Christ, too! All you have to do is prepare candy canes by tagging them with the poem about the candy cane. You can involve children by asking them to help with the tags. Pray over them before you go out each day, asking the Lord to bless those who will receive the candy canes. Then distribute them to as many people as you can throughout the month of December. As you do, be sure to say, “Merry Christmas!”

I order pre-printed tags with this poem from a popular greeting card supplier. You can also make your own tags with the following poem:

The Candy Cane

It’s just a little Christmas treat, but also did you know?
It represents our Savior born so long ago.
The shape is like a “J” to symbolize His name.
The white is for His life, holy without blame.
The stripe of red is for His blood so pure and freely given,
That we might spend eternity with our Lord in heaven!

Renee Myers is a wife, mother of two boys, She Speaks! Graduate, leader of Disciple Bible study, and is active in church women’s groups. You can read more of her work at

Other Christmas Outreach Ideas

If you have the gift of hospitality, or would like to cultivate that gift, consider hosting a get-together at your home.

-Christmas cookie baking party- have guests bring recipes and ingredients for their favorite cookies.

-Movie Night- Invite friends over to watch “The Nativity Story.”

-Gift Wrap Gathering- Have fun wrapping gifts together with friends and neighbors.

During this busy season, there are many people in our community who may feel forgotten. Consider reaching out to them with Christ’s love.

-Thank the people that work on the holidays in your community by bringing plates of food to your local fire station, police station or hospital.

-Bring flowers or small gifts to a nursing home in your area and/or sing Christmas carols for residents.