Our humble Christmas offering was always warmly received and often led to long over-due neighborly chit chat. It was a simple way of keeping in touch with the neighbors and letting them know we care. And, it gave us the opportunity to present Jesus as the Reason for the Season to those who might not hear about the good tidings of great joy otherwise.
Now I live in a different neighborhood with my own little family, but the fond memories I have sharing oliebollen in Christmases past, have inspired me to carry on the same tradition. Instead of oliebollen, however (I have a deep-fryer phobia), we like to make our own candies and serve them in a cheery tin.
I'm quite certain that any home-baked delicacy would be a pleasure to receive, but if you're looking for a recipe that is simple, quick to prepare, makes a large batch, and can easily involve the whole family, feel free to use or tweak which we'll call Neighborhood Sweet Treats for the sake of this post. (Right click, "save", and print for the recipe alone)
The packaging ideas are limitless. The Dollar Store has several cut tins which you can easily dress up using scraps of raffia and paper. Most important, is the accompanying card. Though the outside need not be anything spectacular, what's on the inside can change your neighbor's life - God's Word will not return unto Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)
Not sure what to write? Here are a few "Christmas" verses that clearly present the Gospel. Be sure to include the reference so your neighbors are given the opportunity to discover these truths in the Bible for themselves.
After delivering your gifts and good tidings, pray together as a family for those who have just received them. Ask the Lord to open the door of their hearts so that they would recognize their need of a Savior and find in Jesus the gift of Eternal Life in Heaven.
*Olibollen is a traditional Dutch delicacy similar to an apple fritter except made with raisins and cinnamon instead. The deep-fried "oil balls" are usually served with icing sugar on New Year's Eve. They're terribly unhealthy, but oh-so-yummy when eaten fresh!
Jacinda is a sinner saved by grace, the cherished wife to her husband of three years, Brad, and the blessed mama to two precious children so far - Charity (2), and Judah (7 months). She is a homeschool graduate with counseling certificates from CCEF, and passionate about serving the Lord as a "keeper at home." You can find her blogging about her adventures in homemaking at Growing Home, where she records the struggles and triumphs of crafting, gardening, homeschooling sticky-fingered toddlers, living a counter-cultural life, and cooking gluten-free.
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