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http://clipart.christiansunite.com
Ever since we moved into our house, my husband and I decided that we would share the Good News of Jesus' birth with our neighbors by delivering them treats and a message related to Jesus.  Last year we expanded our reach.  We did the three houses to our left and right, our neighbors across the street and the three houses to their left and right.  This is a great way to reach out to the neighbors in general, but we really wanted to share God's love with them through the treats and of course, tell them about Jesus.  

We deliver the packages as a family.  Sweet Girl, who was almost three years old last year, was really into the delivering part and was hoping we'd get to see and talk with our neighbors.  We tried to go at a time we thought people would be home, but unfortunately missed many of them.  We left their packages for them to find when they returned.

My husband and I like what this type of outreach teaches our children.  First, we are giving out of love and are not expecting anything in return.  Second, we want our children to know that not everyone has heard about Jesus and that as Christians, we should be sharing the Good News with those around us.  Christmas is just an easy time to do this.

On two different occasions, we even received gifts from our neighbors.  One brought us some homemade goodies and the other a plant that is still in our kitchen today.  Those presents were nice surprises because they weren't expected and it gave us an opportunity to chat more with our neighbors.

This year, we are focusing on sharing about why Jesus was born and salvation.  We will make Christmas sprinkle sugar cookies and include a modified version of a card we got from a local church asking "Do you know where you will be spending eternity?"  It may seem a little "heavy" for Christmas time, but Jesus came to this earth so He could die for our sins and the only way to spend eternity with Him is to accept Him into your heart as your Savior.  One never knows how many days one has left.  This is an important message to share.

In the past we have shared the story of the candy cane and the story of Jesus' birth.  Last year, we shared the M&M Christmas Story and M&M pretzel treats.  This is the one I am sharing with you today.
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Can't ya just taste 'em?
M&M Pretzel Treats:  I actually saw these treats on a friend's Facebook page (thanks, Alicia B!) and decided to make them for a mom's groups' Christmas brunch.  I ran into the children's pastor's wife and she commented on the treat I had made.  She asked me if I knew the M&M Christmas story.  I had not and she shared it with me.  (Thanks, Marilyn!) I knew right then and there that I was going to share this story with our neighbors and include these treats.

Ingredients:
  • Waffle pretzels
  • Candy melt wafers with your choice of flavor:  chocolate, peanut butter, peppermint
  • M&Ms (variety pack or holiday colors)  

Supplies Needed:
  • Cookie sheets
  • Tin foil
  • Cooling racks

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line your cookie sheets with tin foil.
  3. Place waffle pretzels on the cookie sheet.  Do not use the broken ones.
  4. Put one candy melt wafer on top of each waffle pretzel.
  5. Place cookie sheets in oven for 2 minutes.  If they go much longer, the wafer will melt through the pretzel.
  6. As soon as you take them out, gently push a M&M into the slightly melted wafer.  Do not do too many at a time as the chocolate cools fast and you need the wafer to be soft so the M&M sticks in it.  **Make sure the "M" is facing up as to go along with the poem.**
  7. Set aside to cool.  As they cool, the candy wafer will harden.  Then, you can move your treats to a container.
I used peanut butter and white chocolate wafers.  
I love the taste combination with the peanut butter and I like how the colors pop with the white chocolate.

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How festive is this?
Tips:
  • Be careful if you are doing this activity with children because the cookie sheet and the melted wafer get warm. 
  • I tried topping some of the pretzels with mini marshmallows when I ran out of M&Ms.  They were good the night of, but the marshmallows were not soft the next day.
  • I loved the peanut butter wafer combination.
  • You could make these year-round with different colored candy wafers and/or M&Ms. After you taste these, you'll want to!
  • These treats make great gifts for everyone on your list and look pretty on the table.
  • These easy to make treats are the perfect little pop-in-your-mouth tasty snack.  I warn you, they are very addicting!  

After the treats are done, package them into holiday-themed bags and add a few extra candies for some variety.  If a larger family lives in a particular house, we make sure they get more of the treats to share.

Here is the poem we included with the treats for our neighbors.

M&M Christmas Story
Submitted by: scrapmom2boys
Author: by Pam Ridenour
Found at http://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/7528/11.html


As you hold these candies in your hand,
And turn them you will see
The M becomes a W, and E and then a 3
They tell the Christmas story,
It's one I'm sure you know
It took place in a stable a long, long time ago
The E is for the East, where the star shone so bright
The M is for the manger where Baby Jesus slept that night
The 3 is for the wisemen, bearing gifts they say they came
W is for Worship, Hallelujah, Praise His Name
So as you eat these candies or share them with a friend
Remember the meaning of Christmas it's a Love Story that never ends
I hope this post inspires you to reach out to your neighbors this Christmas season.  You never know, you may be planting the seed that will literally change someone's life forever.

**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.  
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