The holiday season is a magical time. The carols, the lights, the food, the friends and family traditions, it all adds up to a wonderful time. But not everyone has it as good at Christmas, it is a perfect time to remember the sad, the lonely and people who need a special measure of love and grace.
This is a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids how to serve others, and in the process of helping others this Christmas, you all get to experience the true meaning of Christmas in a deeper way.
Children these days are so focused on what they can get out of Christmas, what gifts they want, and what they feel they NEED to consume and buy. It is a refreshing change to move the focus away from them and on to those that are less fortunate, or even just others in the world to expand their outlook.
Sometimes it is hard to remember to serve others when we are focused on our own busyness and little people at home, so it is a great lesson for all of us.
Where is the Spirit of Christmas Found?
What I have learned is we must actively search for the Spirit of Christmas. The feelings of magic and love throughout the holiday season come when we look outside of our (and sometimes our family’s) needs and begin serving those around us.
You don’t have to make big, fancy purchases or expensive donations to feel the spirit of Christmas. It really comes through just finding someone who is having a bad day or needing a reminder that they are not forgotten, but are loved just for who they are.
A reminder that you’re special can make the world of difference to anyone, and it might be what makes a person’s entire Christmas season joyful. Don’t underestimate the power of small kindnesses.
If you are looking for a meaningful way to help others with your children during the holiday season then grab your apron, put a smile on your face and share joy and deliciousness with people in need.
Here are 10 great ideas to helping others this Christmas
1 Have a clear out
Set the timer for 30 minutes and get your children to choose some toys or books to gift to others. Talk to them at first about how to select good items, and to think about how a person receiving the gift would feel if the toy was broken, or the book was torn or drawn in.
2 Get some groceries
Go to the supermarket together and chose some of your favorite treat foods, as well as some useful staple foods and take them to your local food bank.
3 Leave some treats
Leave some special treats for unsuspecting people in your life – the mailman, milkman, tradespeople, road workers
4 Visit the sick kids
Take some balloons, coloring pencils and books or other small activities and go and visit the sick children at the local hospital
5 Visit the elderly
Take some treats, or learn some carols and go and share them with the elderly at the local old folks home. Our elderly are often very lonely at this time of the year, and they adore seeing the young, excited faces of our children. Don’t forget, they are people too, they have lived their lives and are full of wonderful stories and memories if people would only sit and listen to them.
6 Bake for the neighbors
Bake some Christmas cookies and take them around door to door giving them to everyone as you go. This is a lovely way to serve others, as well as building a sense of community and getting to know your neighbors.
7 Visit our essential service providers
Bake a cake or some cookies and take them to the fire department, police or ambulance crew for their tea break.
8 Serve at the local soup kitchen
This is so good for older children to get involved with.
9 Give a gift
Go to a big box store that has a giving/wishing tree. Choose a child’s name off the tree, or simply go and buy and wrap a gift and place it under the tree for anyone.
10 Participate in Operation Christmas Child
This is run through Samaritan’s Purse and it is a wonderful idea where you fill a shoe box full of gifts for children, and they gift them to children in need.
It is a wonderful and noble pursuit to share the spirit of Christmas and joy of the holidays with your community. It is a brilliant way to teach your children how to serve others and to show them that they are not actually the center of all things.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the joy on someone’s face that you helped to happen. So I encourage you to share the love of Christmas this year!