“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” (Billy Graham)
As Christians, we are called to serve daily, not just during the Christmas season, but as a way of life. However, this special time of the year is perfect for making service a family priority.
Some of the best gifts do not come in the form of more “things” but in giving more of ourselves, our time, talents and treasures. Serving as the hands and feet of Jesus is not only a commandment but a privilege. God gifted each one of us and equipped us each uniquely with spiritual gifts to be used to bless others and serve the Kingdom both near and far.
The commercialization and materialism surrounding Christmas seems to be getting progressively more out of hand with each passing year. The season of Christ-centered, selfless giving has morphed into something almost unrecognizable.
As Christians we must be both proactive and intentional about not getting carried away and swept up in the consumerism and materialism of the season and focus our activities and efforts towards being more like Christ and through loving His people well. By actively searching for and creating moments to share the true spirit of the season with others (in both big and small ways) you will bless others in a meaningful way and in turn, you will be blessed.
Before your spirit is lulled into the hustle and bustle of the “most wonderful time of the year,” make a decision today to approach Christmas in a new and exciting way this year! Commit to putting Christ at the center of the season and seize the opportunity for spiritual growth as a family.
13 Ways to Serve Others During the Christmas Season
Make Blessing Bags for the homeless in your community:
This is a great service project for the entire family. It is also perfect for small groups or a neighborhood to pursue as a collective service effort during the holiday season. These bags can include anything from personal care products to nutritious snacks. Check out this post from Thrifty NW Mom Blog about putting your own blessing bags together with FREE printables and notes of encouragement.
Collect food for the local food bank and volunteer to serve as a family:
Contact your local food bank to find out what their greatest needs are during the holiday season. Compile a shopping list to help stock the shelves. Make sure you include children in the shopping and delivery of the items. Use the shopping experience and delivery to help teach them about the importance of Christian service and taking care of the underprivileged by being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home:
Seniors love spending time and being entertained by children, especially during the holiday season. Many older adults in facilities away from their homes find the holidays to be a particularly lonely time. A smile and a song can go a long way.
Serve meals at a local soup kitchen:
Contact churches or soup kitchens in your local area and inquire about their greatest holiday service needs. Find out if there are rules/restrictions about children participating in the serving of the meal.
Adopt a family/ a Senior/ or a Child in need:
During the holidays, these programs pop up within local churches and throughout the community. Find a program that fits your family’s particular interest(s) and commit to serving a family or individual in need during this season of giving. Consider contacting local churches, your local Office of the Aging or a Children’s home in your community.
Laundromat Service Project:
This is one of our family’s favorite projects. We chose a local laundromat to bless with free laundry supplies (detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets) and free laundry. Our family gathered up some friends to help us. Each family that participated purchased laundry supplies and brought sandwich bags full of quarters. We made this a family affair! Everyone went down to the laundromat and handed out laundry supplies and quarters to the people there. We also attached scripture notes and encouraging words to the supplies and bags of quarters. For some more laundry love inspiration, check out this blog post by Gina Duke.
Commit to praying for someone throughout the entire holiday season:
Prayer is so powerful and doesn’t have to cost you anything but your time. Choose someone to pray for daily during the holiday season. If it is someone you know, consider sending a card during the holiday season to let them know that you are praying for them daily.
Sponsor a child through Compassion International:
Sponsoring a child through Compassion International is a tangible way to introduce our children to the importance of missions around the world. This outreach is a very personal way to meet the needs of others and to teach our children about serving the Kingdom of God all over the globe.
Operation Christmas Child Boxes through Samaritans Purse:
This is a Christmas tradition for our family. Our children look forward to participating in this special project throughout the entire year. They take ownership of this project from purchasing the items to packing the boxes. In the past, we have even attended an Operation Christmas Child Box packing party. This is a perfect holiday activity for a small group at church or group of friends.
Deliver snacks to local unsung heroes/First Responders in your community (local police and fire departments):
Oftentimes our First Responders go unnoticed until we need their services. Make a choice this holiday season to recognize the hard work and dedication of these service providers who are always there to serve and protect our families and communities.
Leave treats and notes of appreciation for delivery providers throughout the holiday season (FedEx, UPS, and Mail Carriers):
Delivery providers work around the clock to be sure our packages arrive and are delivered in a timely fashion during the holiday season. They work incredibly long hours, sometimes in treacherous conditions to ensure that are loved ones are taken care. Please consider thinking of creative ways to serve the multiple delivery providers that visit your home during the Christmas season. If you are looking for a great example, check out this post over at Meet Penny.
Make cards and artwork for family members, teachers, nursing homes or random service providers in the community:
This is a gift from the heart that doesn’t have to cost anything but your time. Get out the crayons, construction paper, glue and copious amounts of glitter and let the kids go to town. Help them create simple messages of love, joy and appreciation that they can include on their artwork.
Small Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACKs):
Get your creative juices flowing and involve the entire family in coming up with fun, unique ways to spread Christmas cheer during this holiday season.
Here are a few of our family’s favorites
Serving others during the holiday season does not have to cost a lot of money or take a great deal of time. Make service outreach a priority for your family this Christmas!
Involve the entire family…brainstorm ideas…make a plan and most importantly…FOLLOW THROUGH!
By making a few simple changes this Christmas season, your family can truly experience the magic of the most wonderful time of the year!
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35, NIV)