My boys’ Christmas lists were made by the end of October. My husband and I had discussed holiday plans, holiday budgets, and arrangements started to be made. We were looking forward to a beautiful Christmas filled with food, fun, family, friends, and love. But everyone is not that fortunate.
For some people, the season is painful and they want to get through the holidays as quickly as possible. Maybe you’re one of those people; you just recently lost a loved one, and this will be the first Christmas without that person. You could be struggling with a job loss; or you can’t afford to travel to see family and friends. Or, maybe there’s no one for you to travel and see, and you’re lonely. We want to think of the holidays as joyous and celebratory, but sadly, some people are grieving. Hurting. Lost. Depressed. What a time to celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus and all that He stood for by sharing His love with others who are hurting!
I encourage you to make the effort to make this a season of giving instead of getting. Here are a few ways you can selflessly make this a Christmas to remember for the person who is hurting or feels all alone.
- Make room at the table for one more. Extending a dinner invitation on Christmas Day to someone who would otherwise be alone could mean the world to them. When I was single and money was too tight to buy a plane ticket home, that invitation truly lifted my spirits.
- Give a helping hand at a local charity. Many organizations need help feeding the homeless, preparing food donations, labeling donated clothing, and the list goes on. Reach out to see how you can help.
- Sing Christmas carols or visit and talk with the elderly at a nursing home. I know from personal experience that this absolutely brightens their day.
- Make Christmas cards for soldiers overseas. I’m sure it’s hard enough being away from family, but to also be in unfamiliar surroundings is difficult. Cards can give words of encouragement and support and, of course, thank them for their service to us!
- Do something nice for your co-workers. Bake cookies, give a small trinket, etc. The one worker who is the most obnoxious may also be the loneliest.
- Take someone to a special event such as a Christmas symphony or theatrical performance who can not afford to go.
- Offer to perform a service for someone who is elderly. Clean up their garbage, cook a meal, something that would be a blessing to them and ease their loneliness around the holidays.
- Use technology and arrange a video chat with family and friends for Christmas! Even if alone, they will be warmed by your presence.
- Send a care package. Maybe you know a college student that can’t make it home. And although they’ll have good company on Christmas day, the package would be a great pick-me-up!
- And of course, invite them to church!
I am praying that your holiday season is one filled with joy and laughter, God’s love and grace, and the realization that it truly is better to give than to receive.