The holidays are my favorite time of year. I love the possibility of snow, catching up with my extended family during holiday meals, and exchanging presents with those I love.
It’s easy to let the hustle and bustle take over and forget about those who may not have it as good as we have it. As you enter the holiday season, plan ways that you and your family can give back to others who are less fortunate.
Here are a few ideas I am planning with my family.
Spending time with my family purchasing new toys and necessities to place in a shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child is a simple way we give back. It’s a great way to get the kids involved as they can help you prepare a box for a boy or girl who is the same age. Help your kids deliver homemade cookies to a nursing home or make a visit to the children’s cancer ward at a local hospital to deliver baskets of toys. Choose a child’s name from the Angel Tree to buy a gift.
Partner with your local church to participate in a community event. Pick a time that your family can give at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or women’s & children’s home. You could serve a meal, help with a campaign, or spend time with residents. Seek ways to donate a few hours to a good cause like a holiday gift wrapping station in the mall that collects donations for the benefit of a charitable organization.
Local food banks and grocery stores accept special donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for those who could not afford it on their own. Buy a few extra items on your next grocery trip. Whether you give to the Salvation Army or donate a gift to Toys for Tots, intentionally set aside a portion of your holiday budget to ensure someone else will receive at least one gift during the season.
Is there a co-worker, neighbor, or casual acquaintance who doesn’t have any family that you can invite to church or a home-cooked dinner? A small gesture could go a long way to brightening up someone else’s holiday. Imagine you had no one to spend the holidays with. How could you change that for someone else? Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consider any events you could invite someone to.
Even if you don’t have extra money, you can shrink your own holiday gift budget to make a difference in someone else’s life. Your blessing will in turn bless you.
How does your family express its gratitude during the holidays?