Alternative Christmas Market
Buying and receiving expensive gifts for Christmas is an American cultural tradition; it is not consistent with historical Christian tradition, however. In Christian tradition Christmas is a time, not for self-indulgence, but for sharing in ways that promise renewal for ourselves and others. The Alternative Christmas Market encourages individuals, families and congregations to look for creative ways of celebrating Christmas that are consistent with Christian tradition -- including gifts of love, friendship, and service that may cost no money at all. Also needed are gifts which lift people out of the cycle of poverty and dependence with food, clothing and other forms of emergency assistance.
We try to provide our congregation with the opportunity to give Christmas gifts that will bring the true joy of Christmas to the giver and to the recipient, those who are in need. The Alternative Christmas Market is also a great way to teach children about giving—giving that makes a difference in the world. We give choices of local, national, or international charities. 100% of the gift is passed on to the charities chosen.
COMPASS: For some families, unexpected medical bills or child-care problems are enough to send them into a shelter or worse, out on the streets. Most social service programs are not designed to deal with such sudden short term issues. In central Ohio, COMPASS provides aid quickly to keep people from losing their homes because of temporary setbacks.
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank: Most people don’t realize the staggering impact hunger has in Central Ohio. Soaring food prices and high unemployment mean too many families go to bed hungry.
Montaña de Luz: “The Mountain of Light” orphanage in Honduras is home to children with HIV/AIDS. This is a special place where children can receive the safety, love, nutrition and medicine they deserve. Your gift will help provide nutritious food, medical care and education.
Bethany House in South Africa: Bethany is a safe haven for abused women and their children in Johannesburg, South Africa. Because of the spiraling violence in South Africa, these women are desperate for help. This home can accommodate up to 55 women and children for approximately 6-14 months. Your gift will help provide shelter and counseling to these women and their children.
Bibles for Romanian Christians: In post-communist Romania there are many small Christian churches growing in remote villages. The economy in Romania limps along and most churches are unable to provide Bibles for their members. Your donation will help distribute Romanian printed Bibles to those families who seek the word of God.
Pal Craftaid: Rooted in the peace and justice work of the Presbyterian Church USA since 1993, Pal Craftaid has been an all volunteer, non-profit ministry of compassion, hope and healing for Palestinians. Olive wood and embroidered handcrafts made by artisans in the West Bank and Gaza will be available for purchase.
Blessings in a Backpack: Help supply food to school-ages children in need over the weekends when they do not receive Federal Assisted lunches.
Presbyterian Giving: Haiti Container Gardening: In countries like Haiti, a dry season can last five to seven months, posing challenges for food production. Container gardens allow families to grow food in smaller spaces with minimal expense, water and labor—providing them with essential nourishment and a source of income. This project is coordinated by Mark Hare, a member of our Presbytery, and his wife, Jenny Bent.
1. Determine Dates: Usually the three Sundays before Christmas are dedicated to the Alternative Christmas Market.
2. Select Organizations: A small group of Mission Members selects the 6-8 organizations that will be included in the Market.
3. Determine Gift Amounts: For each organization chosen, several gift amounts are suggested with associated assistance provided with those funds.
4. Develop Order Form: (See below) A form is developed with a description of the organization and suggested gift amounts. This form is included in the Sunday bulletin on the first Sunday of the Market, included in the November copy of Tower Tidings, and extra copies kept on the check-out desk for the three Sundays of the Market. The Administrative Assistant has the form and
needs to be given any changes to charities and dates.
5. Ornaments: An ornament is given to each donor. The Administrative Assistant creates the ornament with help from the program lead. A new charity requires the creation of a new ornamental design. Carryover ornaments from previous years are kept so they need to be reviewed and the Administrative Assistant informed of the number needed for the current year. Envelopes are purchased to fit the ornaments.
1. Poster Boards: A poster board will be displayed for each charity on the three Sundays of the Market. If a new charity is added, a new poster board needs to be made. Old poster boards need to be checked to see if any damage has occurred since the previous year.
2. Helpers: Mission/congregation members are on hand to answer questions about the charities for the three Sundays of the Market. These people need to be chosen and scheduled.
3. Room Set-up: A form to schedule the arrangement of the tables in the fellowship hall needs to be submitted to the Business Manager.
Before/After the Market
1. Cash Boxes: The Financial Assistant has 2 cash boxes which we use. One for the check-out table and one for Pal Craftaid.
2. Monies Collected: At the end of each Sunday sale, all forms and money collected should be put into an envelope and then into the safe in the office for the Financial Assistant.
PAL CRAFTAID PROCESS:
1. Order Pal Craftaid: Our contact person is Kirsten Johnston. Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Give her our Market dates and address to send box of the Palestinian crafts. She usually decides what to send based on previous years’ experience, but we may make requests.
1. Review Order: When box arrives, check items against the enclosed inventory list and identify any missing or damaged items. Any discrepancies should immediately be made known to Kirsten. The price tags should not been removed or changed.
2. Before the Sale: Please read carefully the Pal Craftaid Consignment Agreement included in the box of items. It gives details on how to handle the sale.
3. Change: Twenty dollars in fives and ones is needed for those who do not have the exact amount needed to purchase.
4. Receipt Book: A receipt book will be included in the box from Pal Craftaid. Give the white copy to customer and keep the yellow copy. Write the assigned Pal Craftaid numbers on the receipt and the amount of sale.
5. Bags: Plastic grocery bags are helpful for those who purchase several items.
During/After the Sale:
1. Collecting Money: We accept checks or cash. Checks should be written to “Worthington Presbyterian Church”. All monies collected from Pal Craftaid should be kept separate from the Alternative Market Charities donations. All donations to the charities are tax deductible, but Pal Craftaid purchases are not since the purchaser receives something in return.
2. Balancing: At the end of each Sunday’s sale, calculate the amount sold using the receipt book and match with the funds received. The number should be the same. Put the money in an envelope marked Pal Craftaid and place in the
safe in the office.
3. Returning items not sold: At the end of the sale, fill out packing list according to instructions on the Consignment Agreement. Unsold items must be returned within 5 days of the end of the sale. We are responsible for the return shipping charges.
4. Payment: The Financial Assistant takes care of making the payment to Pal Craftaid.
MORE INFORMATION/ORDER FORMS
Please see the PDF below for a printable order form and more information.