1. Make a special treat for your neighbors.
Pumpkin bread, cookies, etc. I love making mini pumpkin bread loaves and sharing with the neighbors. I like to make them in early November, put them in the freezer for a couple weeks (which helps increase the flavor), and then deliver during Thanksgiving or before Christmas. Helps reduce the stress during the holiday rush. Whatever you are making for your family, make an extra batch and share with your neighbors or co-workers.
2. Make a little thank you gift for your mailman, trash collector, etc.
Leave a plate of cookies and a Christmas card for these service providers.
3. Host a Christmas party and invite your neighbors.
This year, we are focusing on reaching out to 3 young families in our neighborhood. So we decided to invite them all over for a Christmas party with warm soup, salad, bread, and have a meaningful fellowship time. I’ll have the kids recite their memory work of Luke 2 in a light weight but intentional way of sharing the true meaning of Christmas, and then facilitate some meaningful conversation around the question: “What’s your favorite Christmas memory?”
4. Go caroling!
Whether it be to your neighbors or to an elderly care facility, this is a simple way of sharing the joy and true celebration of Christmas.
5. Share a gift.
Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree, donating gifts (using their Christmas gift catalogs) through Compassion International, or Samaritans Purse, are all easy ways to join with your children in ministering to the needs in your community and around the world. I am helping to facilitate an Angel Tree project at my church to provide gifts to children of incarcerated parents in our community. It’s so simple and yet meaningful. You even get to deliver the gifts to the children within their homes and share about Jesus. Pretty special.
6. Adopt a family in need.
One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year as a child we adopted a family in need in our church who was going through a serious health crisis, and we bought gifts for all the children and surprised them by delivering the goodies to their door. It has stood with me for memory years and inspired many more ventures to give some Christmas joys to needy families in our church.
These are just a few ideas we have found helpful to keep the focus on serving others and giving our children opportunities to serve as well and cultivating a greater picture of the true meaning of Christmas.
How do you enjoy being a light during the holidays?