With fresh snow on the ground here in Colorado and Thanksgiving only days away, it’s safe to say the holiday season is upon us. And as crazy as it sounds, Christmas is only a mere month away. If you’re like me, you’ve probably already started thinking about Christmas gifts and all the things you need to get done in the next few weeks. I’m right there with you. But God has been laying something more on my heart and that’s what my post is about today. Today I want to encourage you to stop and think about ways you can be a blessing to others during this holiday season. I know it’s the busiest time of year for many of us, with lots of fun and exciting things coming up, but the truth is the holidays can be very difficult for many–whether it be financial struggles, dealing with the death of loved one, health issues, loneliness, etc. The list goes on and on. There are a lot of hurting hearts out there. So now, more than ever, is when we should be lifting others up and helping those in need. Afterall, Christmas isn’t about spending and buying and shopping. It’s about slowing down, celebrating the birth of our Savior, and truly enjoying life with the people we love the most.
And even more, the holidays should be about serving others. This year our family has decided on two local programs that we plan to get involved with for the holiday season–one through our church and one through the local food bank. This has become a tradition for us and I want to teach my children the lesson of generosity and compassion, all while showing God’s love through their actions. I can’t wait to get started with our programs this year! And while I was thinking of how our family will serve this holiday season, I thought you all might be interested in doing the same thing. So I’ve come up with 10 easy ways you and your family can give back this holiday season. Most of these ideas don’t cost much money and won’t take much of your time, but the main goal is giving love and support to someone that needs it.
- Make a hot meal for a neighbor or friend that is struggling.
- Visit your local nursing home and spread a little love. My mom and I used to do this when I was young–we’d do manicures on the cutest little ladies. You’d be amazed at how grateful those men and women are just to have someone to sit and talk to for an hour.
- Send a card. I know, this sounds easy. But when was the last time you received a card in the mail? Think of someone that has made a big impact on your life, or even someone that needs a little uplifting and encouragement, and send them a card. They’ll never forget it.
- Contact your local task force or food bank. Many have food drives currently underway for Thanksgiving or even Adopt-A-Family programs for Christmas.
- Ask everyone in the family to set aside a certain amount of money, then spend that money in a good and generous way. Everyone then comes together on Christmas Day to reveal what they did with the money.
- Contact your local animal shelter and see if they run any special programs for the holidays.
- Bake a pie or something yummy and drop it off at your local firehouse or police station on Christmas Day. Those guys and gals working our streets don’t get the holidays off!
- Find out what special holiday programs your church is running and get the whole family involved. These programs are often very hands on and can be great ways to show your kids how to give to others.
- Send a holiday care package to our troops serving overseas. There are lots of organizations that do this, but I know Operation Gratitude is a good one.
- Start a 25 Days of Love Challenge in December and choose someone every day from December 1st through the 25th that you can call or text, just to say you are sending love, prayer, and well wishes for the holiday season.
I hope this list gives you some ideas or sparks an idea of your own. There are so many ways you can give love to others, so I genuinely hope you make that your mission over the next few weeks and maybe even start a new tradition with your family. The holidays can be such a busy time–with loved ones visiting, holiday parties, and day packed to the brim with activities. But I would encourage you now, before the mayhem starts, to decide what kind of holiday season you want to have, for you and your family. I hope you choose to slow down, focus on what matters most, and find ways to share God’s love with others.
Thanks so much for stopping by today my friends! I’d love to hear what kind of special traditions you and your family do to give back during the holiday season!