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#GiveAnEternalGift Combats the Commercialization of Christmas
Contact: Tonya Nichols, Meet The Need, 813-215-8599, tnichols@meettheneed.org 
TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 29, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- For Christians, particularly those upset with the increasing commercialization of Christmas, Meet The Need has launched an "Ice Bucket Challenge" for service and evangelism called #GiveAnEternalGift. The goal is to encourage 1 million Christians to "put Christ back in Christmas" as Jesus would – by letting acts of kindness open the door to sharing the Gospel – with neighbors, coworkers and complete strangers.

Participants are asked to share their stories on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #GiveAnEternalGift and challenge three friends to "pay it forward."

"Christians will soon start hearing 'Happy Holidays' – and we'll bristle. We'll see more about Santa Claus than our Savior as Christmas approaches. Right after watching our media try to take Christ out of politics, we'll watch retailers try to take Christ out of Christmas," said Jim Morgan, president of Meet The Need Ministries, which equips thousands of churches and charities across the country to serve their communities.

"Boycotting stores is not going to get America more focused on 'believing' than 'buying.' Too many Christians get caught up in the madness as well, so stressed by their holiday 'obligations' that they miss 'opportunities' to serve others and share the Gospel. Instead, the remedy for 'consumerism' is 'compassion,' setting the example by turning our own attention from giving temporal gifts to giving eternal ones," said Morgan.

We have all seen kids rip open presents Christmas morning, only to stop playing with those toys or break them a couple days later. #GiveAnEternalGift urges Christians not to be fooled by slick advertising into wanton consumerism under the guise of generosity. Going into debt and enduring bedlam at the local mall for the sake of giving gifts that may never see the light of day is not God's plan for Christmas.

In contrast, Jesus gave us a gift that lasts forever – Himself. Meet The Need challenges believers over the next 30 days to serve others in Jesus' name, passing along that eternal gift. Normally, re-gifting is frowned upon, but not in this case. Leading someone toward Christ in the way that He modeled – by first demonstrating His love and then revealing who He is – is the most enduring gift we can give.

In the months leading up to the presidential election, Meet The Need's #CastAnEternalVote initiative reached over 750,000 people on social media with the message that Christians should worry more about who ends up in God's House than in the White House. #GiveAnEternalGift conveys a similar call to "go and make disciples" and is expected to reach just as many through Facebook and Twitter.

Morgan concluded, "As our consumer culture loses sight of the true meaning of Christmas, it's our actions – not just our words – that will remind them of the real 'reason for the season.'"

To learn more go to www.meettheneed.org/giveaneternalgift, www.facebook.com/meetneeds or www.twitter.com/meet_the_need.

About Meet The Need: Meet The Need (www.meettheneed.org) is a nonprofit organization providing free software and services to connect those in need with those who can help. Meet The Need bridges communication gaps in cities across the country between churches, charities and businesses. Meet The Need also works with national partners to build solutions to alleviate hunger, homelessness and child neglect.