How is it already Christmastime? Thanksgiving has passed, and we are now fully in Christmas season.
Last year, I sent an e-mail out to some mentors with ideas for mentoring during the holidays. I’ve revised the list and want to share it with ALL of our mentors. Hopefully, this will help you come up with ideas to create space for both FUN times and intentional conversations with your protege.
Make a tradition together – Whether y’all bake cookies, make homemade hot chocolate, or drive around to see the lights, consider creating a tradition with your protege that you can continue for years to come. There is something sweet and sentimental about traditions, especially since they mark many of our dearest relationships. **If you and your protege already have a Christmas tradition, let us know. We’d love to hear what you do**
Christmas movie-thon – Find out if your protege has a favorite Christmas movie & take turns watching each other’s favorite Christmas movies. Sometimes, watching someone’s favorite movie can give you a glimpse into their culture or sense of humor.
Idea from a mentor– nativity scene: I got this one from a mentor and think it’s such a great idea: “Last year, my protege and I put out the nativity scene in my living room. I was amazed that she did not even know who the wise men were – we got to talk about it a little bit. I think the simplest things teach them so much.”
Remember that the holidays can be difficult – For some of our proteges, this may be the first Christmas without a family member they were close to. Or, they may have to celebrate without their biological parent because (s)he is incarcerated. There are many reasons that the holidays can be tough. Be aware of what’s going on in your protege’s life and be sensitive to his or her situation.
Send a card– We know that YOU are busy for Christmas. Many of our mentors leave town for the holidays. If you’ll be gone for a week or two, make sure to communicate that to your protege’s family ahead of time. Also, consider snail-mailing a Christmas card so that your protege gets a tangible reminder that you are thinking about them!
Talk about Jesus – Ask your protege what they know about the Christmas story, and then show them what the Bible says about it. Consider reading through the Christmas story or prophecies about Jesus’ birth & life with your protege. A simple hang-out focused on the Christmas story can be more impactful than a jam-packed fun day, especially since the simplicity of Jesus’ birth stands in stark contrast to the crazy pace that typically surrounds Christmas!
A note about gifts – If you choose to get your protege a Christmas gift, I would ask you to limit your giving to only one gift that costs no more than $25. Gifts can be fun & thoughtful, but giving excessively can actually hurt your ability to build a healthy relationship with your protege & their family.
We love y’all! We hope that you have a great Christmas season and that it isn’t too chaotic. If you’d like any more help in thinking through how to celebrate Jesus with your protege this Christmas season, reach out to your Coordinator!