The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time for many. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of family get togethers, church functions, work parties, and the shopping, wrapping, and everything else this time of year distracts us with. We can very easily lose sight of what’s important – letting God’s light shine through us during this special time of year.
While we can start within our own families, we can also spread love and joy to others around us that aren’t a part of our families, too. The Bible even gives us a command to love one another:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13: 34-35
Here are some simple ideas for showing the love of Jesus this holiday season.
#1. Invite Friends & Family to Church Activities
You probably have both family and friends who do not attend church regularly or even at all. This time of year is when non-church goers are more open to attending. Even if you’ve invited them recently and they’ve said no, reach out and extend the invitation to attend with you again. Just remember, if they say 'no', don’t get irritated with them and try lecturing them about why they should go. Let it be and just continue praying for them.
#2. Lunch/Brunch/Dinner After Church
Do you know of someone elderly, young family, or someone living alone that is having a hard time? Whether it be job loss, death, financial struggle, or anything else someone could be struggling with, take time to reach out and invite them to a meal out after church.
This is a great way to get to know others you may not normally have the opportunity to get to know. Love on them, not just by paying for their meal but by listening and being present. Ask them about their lives and engage in conversation with them. Don’t prod, let them lead and open up as they feel led. Ask if you can pray over them before parting ways and then do so.
There are so many opportunities to volunteer. Check for local resources such as visiting elderly in a nursing home, visiting sick children in the hospital, helping at a soup kitchen, adopting a family in need and making sure they have gifts under the tree, food on the table and a message about God’s love. These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking.
#4. Give Homemade Treats
As you’re doing your regular baking this holiday season, make some extra goodies. Put them in a decorative tin and take to your neighbors. Drop some off at the local police department or fire station. Giving homemade treats is a fun and easy way to share love with others, especially those that are often forgotten.
#5. Be Helpful
If you’re at a holiday gathering offer to help in the kitchen or see what else the host needs your help with. Not everyone likes help, especially in their kitchen, but just making the offer goes a long way. You can also ask if they need you to bring anything. Once the meal is over, offer to help cleanup or better yet don’t offer just start doing.
#6. Send A Package to Our Troops
Let’s never forget about all the men and women who serve our country to give us the freedom we have to celebrate. Holidays can be a very difficult time for them as they are away from family and friends and sometimes can’t even call home! Put a smile on their faces and show them they’re loved and not forgotten this holiday by sending a care package.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.