What do you send a missionary for Christmas? This is my missionary’s very first Christmas away from home. And there will be NO family around him during the holidays and none of his friends! We want to be sure our missionary feels surrounded by love, even though he is so far away.
I decided to put together a missionary advent calendar! Everything needs to be small, since postage adds up quickly. Everything also needs to be inexpensive, since a mission is not about stuff. We also don’t want to distract him from the focus of his mission: Jesus Christ.
We invited extended family to participate and asked everyone to be sure to get two of everything—for our missionary and for his companion!
Each package is labeled with an “Open on” date. This way, I can combine several days’ worth of packages into one box for shipping.
25 Days of Christmas
“Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
Package idea: FUN cereal!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Package ideas: Glow sticks, reading lights, ceiling stars, anything ‘light’ themed!
“And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.”
Package ideas: Christmas window clings, fridge magnets, Christmas lights—go to the dollar store and have fun!
“In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.”
Package ideas: Lip balm/chap stick.
“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Package ideas: Laundry detergent; dryer sheets; spray and wash; bleach, anything laundry cleaning related!
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Package ideas: Make personalized stationary. Along with the stationary, send stamped envelopes, so the missionaries can send letters home!
“Silent Night, Holy Night!; All is calm, all is bright.; Round yon Virgin, mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender & mild.; Sleep in heavenly peace.; Sleep in heavenly peace.”
Package ideas: I found sticker books with pages of the Nativity scene. They can give the children they are teaching a page. While the children play, they can also learn the story of Christ’s birth.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Package ideas: Anything snow-related! I found some mini-snowman kits, using white play-dough and plastic snowman parts. How fun for them to bring to teaching appointments with kids!
“And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life.”
Package ideas: Reindeer antlers and light-up noses!
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Package ideas: Hot mitts, brownie/cookie mix, and a fun plate to serve them on. Add a note that these goodies are for giving away to an investigator!
“And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.”
Package ideas: Disposable, instant hand-warmers packets.
“And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
Package ideas: I bought a gingerbread house kit with several smaller houses in it. I also made sure that this package is scheduled to be opened on their p-day, so they have time to use it!
Christmas Paddle Ball Tournament!
“But behold, there were no wild beasts nor game in those lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and there was no game for the robbers save it were in the wilderness.”
Package ideas: Send two paddle-ball paddles for the missionaries to compete with! (Feel free to change for another game if you can’t find paddle-ball paddles at the dollar store!)
“And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea exceeding of all beauty;”
Package ideas: Cut-out paper Christmas tree, homemade paper ornaments, and tape. They can tape it to their wall, and decorate!
“Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”
Package ideas: Soap; body wash; shampoo/conditioner; deodorant.
“And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.”
Theme: “Don’t You Quit. You keep walking, you keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” ~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Package idea: Homemade cookie package!
“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”
Package ideas: Runts candy; candy fruit slices; apples/oranges/pears; anything ‘fruit’ themed!
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.”
Package ideas: Aunt Carolyn is having far too much fun planning this package! She has found pop rock candy and candy that looks like an actual rock, but is actually chocolate. She also hinted that candy coal might be included in this package. She has plans to decorate the box!
This is why including extended family makes this such a better experience! She is bringing enthusiasm and creativity!
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
Package ideas: Hot chocolate; mini-marshmallows; mini-candy canes for stirring; mugs.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Package ideas: Cotton balls; Q-tips; Kleenex. Anything soft and lamb-like.
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”
Package ideas: Thank you cards with angels pictured on them for the missionaries to use to thank members who host them during the holidays.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should betaxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”
Package ideas: Chocolate coins.
Wise Men Still Seek Him
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
Package ideas: Journals for writing their own spiritual experiences.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
Package ideas: We are actually going to hand-paint a small nativity set for our missionary to give to whichever family hosts them for Christmas; however, if time doesn’t permit that to happen, then we’ll simply send him a dollar store nativity scene.
December 25 – Christmas DAY!!!
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Package ideas: A handwritten letter, including testimony, from everyone in our immediate family. I’ve also asked our bishop, his former seminary teacher, our stake president, our ward mission leader, and his former young men’s president to write him a letter with their personal testimonies included.
There have been a lot of interesting experiences in putting this package together for our missionary. Next week, I’ll post an update, along with a Twelve Days of Christmas, missionary style!
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.