Serving others should be a year-round quest, but this unique season of Christmas reminds us to look beyond ourselves. If your family enjoys the Elf on the Shelf tradition, perhaps adapt this idea to get the kids excited to care for others this Christmas?
To get started, why not choose one idea for sharing the Christmas spirit with others this year?
6 Ways to Care for Others this Christmas
1. Fill Shoe Boxes
Samaritan’s Purse is an amazing organization that offers many different types of relief and support internationally. With their Operation Christmas Child program, Canadians donated 650,000 boxes last year and the goal is 700,000 this year.
Select a boy or girl and an age bracket (2-4, 5-9, 10-14) to give to, and start planning. Work as a family to purchase items and pack the boxes together. This is a perfect opportunity to donate free samples and discounted items you have picked up all year. Drop boxes off at collection centres between November 17-23.
2. Multiply Your Giving
The World Vision Gift Catalogue offers two unique ways to multiply your giving.
Instead of buying traditional gifts, you can provide food, income and medicine for families in need. Select an item from World Vision’s Christmas Catalogue, and purchase items in your recipients’ name. For example, you can give a card that says you purchased 2 hens and a rooster on behalf of a family member this Christmas. Kids will enjoy this funny promo video.
Another way your giving is multiplied is within their matching program. Some gifts multiply 2, 3 or even 9 times in value. For example, if you donate $100 to Stock a Medical Clinic with life-giving medicine, partner companies will increase the donation to $900 in value.
3. Feed the Hungry
When we have plenty, we have a responsibility to make sure others have sufficient food for the holidays, and all year-round. There are many ways to feed the hungry.
- Give extra to food banks during this season, with finances or donations from your stockpile.
- Serve at a soup kitchen. Make it a holiday tradition to serve with friends or family.
- Hand out Tim Horton’s gift cards to someone asking for help.
- Open your home to those who may not be with family during this holiday.
Christmas can be an especially lonely time. There are many ways you can brighten the holiday for others. One example would be to volunteer at a Senior’s home to play the piano for residents, offer friendly conversation or help someone write Christmas cards.
5. Give From the Heart
For some, the top item on their Christmas wishlist is blood or platelets. Fulfill a holiday miracle for someone this year. This one minute video captures the message perfectly. What better time to donate blood?
6. Use Your Talents
We all have skills and talents we can use to help others. Pause as a family to consider how you can each contribute to people in need this Christmas.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Shovel a neighbour’s driveway
- Drive someone to do their Christmas shopping
- Bake cookies and attach a thoughtful message
- Help someone set up and decorate a Christmas tree
- Go Christmas carolling as a family
- Hang Christmas lights for a senior
- Share some of your homemade meals with others
Make this Christmas a memorable one. Plan early to make time to take care of others’ needs in the midst of busyness. Trying something new this season might lead to unexpected joy, which is a gift that needs no wrapping.
How do you enjoy caring for others at Christmas?