I am ready for the Christmas season. The house is decorated, and the cookies are baked, the ham is ready to cook. We are so blessed to have each other, our health and so much more.
We have made a few simple gifts to give, but have not purchased gifts this year. This year, we are focused on serving others more than ever before.
For this reason, we are very joyful this holiday season.
We contributed our family’s normal gift budget to a couple of important causes. We bought a goat for a family in need through World Vision. Each year we “shop” through their catalog to purchase a livestock animal to give to families in need so they can support themselves. It is one of our favorite family traditions.
This is the first year I have noticed American children listed among those in need, it’s not just a world wide cause anymore.
We contributed through our church to the Advent Conspiracy program, and joined the masses of people who have decided to give more than they spend. Dozens of our local charities as well as many national ones benefited from the funds our church helped to set aside for them.
We baked cookies to give away and are serving on Christmas eve at church as well. These are our simple family traditions.
There are so many places you can serve no matter how little time or money you have.
I asked my fellow bloggers for some ideas on how they are serving this season. Would you like to join us in serving others this holiday season?
Here’s what they came up with:
1) Commit Random Acts of Kindness: Ellen over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has 25 great ideas for giving back to those in need. Commit at least one random act this season, or all 25! The more you do the more joyful you will become, guaranteed.
2)Buy a pair of pajamas and a storybook: Contribute to the Pajama Program’s One Million Good Nights, NYCJenny blogged about her family’s experience buying a pair of pajamas and a children’s story book for this charity. There are so many children who have never experienced the simple luxury of wearing a new pair of pajamas and being read a bedtime story by a parent. This is so close to my heart, I can’t imagine a child not being tucked into bed by a loving parent. This is her husband in his footy pj’s promoting the event for a local news station.
3)Teach Your Children to Serve: Briton from Rad Mom Cool Kid has ideas for children and how they can be of service. Teaching your children servitude helps to combat bullying and disrespect. Start now!
4)Take part in Operation Christmas Child: Melissa from Fab Haute Mamma shared her family’s experience taking shoe boxes and filling them with simple gifts and basic hygiene supplies for Operation Christmas Child. This is also a great family activity! This is a national campaign, look for a drop off site near you and change a child’s life today!
5)Give Back to your Community: Nichole from Simply Nicole has simple ideas for sharing the holiday spirit such as volunteering at your local senior center and cleaning out your closet for charity. I love the Campout for Hunger program she describes. Volunteers collect and distribute large amounts of canned food for a 5 day period! Wow!
6)Search the Web for the perfect giving option: Ange from Inspiring Hearts and Homes put together a long list of places you can serve, including the Humane Society and the Make a Wish Foundation. Check out the list, and find an option that works for you in your area.
7)Decorate a Tree for your favorite Charity: Vanessa Brady from Tried and True decorated a tree for her charity Project BRAVO which benefits the poor in her region of Texas.
Beautiful idea, I can’t wait to do something like this next year!
8) Donate needed items to a food pantry: Paula Biggs from the Frog Price Paperie has great suggestions for what is needed at the food pantry this time of year. Did you know that Almond Milk is greatly in demand at pantries? I had no idea! I will buy a couple extra bottles on my next trip to the grocery store.
9) Ask others to buy Holiday Gifts for Giving Back: Stacy and Eric from Anastasia Vintage Home share their request to family members to give to others instead of themselves. They had some great ideas not on other lists such as Heifer International and Oxfam Unwrapped.
10) Be a part of the Drive Thru Difference: Our local Christian radio station started this idea. All you have to do is pay for the car’s order behind you when you are at a drive thru restaurant. Visit this site to print out a letter of explanation and give it to the cashier when you pay for the meals. This little random act of kindness could change someone’s life today!