It's Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year, especially when we take time to serve and bless those around us. That's what the true Christmas spirit is all about. This year, take some time to look at all your activities and commitments and see how you might bless others, truly making it the best Christmas ever.
1) Set an extra place at your table - There are people all around us who are alone at Christmas - newcomers, widowed, single parent families, etc. Look around you for those that you can invite to be part of your Christmas dinner. For those struggling with loneliness during the holiday season, this can mean everything.
2) Party with a purpose - Make your holiday parties significant by turning your Christmas party into a serving project. If you host an "Ugly Sweater" party have your guests bring new clothing items to donate. If you have a party for families and children, have them bring a new unwrapped toy. Pick an organization and have people bring a donation instead of a hostess gift, and donate that money to a charity. Your time celebrating with friends will become really meaningful as you collectively bless others around you.
3) Pay it forward
Go out and get some gift cards to keep with you over the Christmas season. Use these cards to meet the needs you see around you, or to simply bless people with a surprise. There is nothing like a random act of kindness to bless someone's day. It won't be forgotten! Think of some acts of kindness that don't cost money, but just require a smile and go the extra mile to make someone feel special.
4) Bless your neighbors
Studies show that more and more we don't know our neighbors, and people in our communities are becoming more and more isolated. Reach out to those who live beside you during the Christmas season. Bring them a plate of cookies, or a small gift and start the journey towards friendship and community.
5) Creative Care Packs
In most of our city centers there are people who are living on the streets, just struggling to survive. Make up some care packs that you can keep in your car during the Christmas and winter season to bless those that you come across who are in need. In your care pack include items like: bottled water, energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, mittens, hand warmers, basic toiletries, gift cards for food, etc. Bless with these basics that can help those struggling.
We can't do it all, but everyone can do something. Choose one new thing this year that you can add to your Christmas traditions that involves reaching out and blessing those around you.
Have fun as you serve!