It's the Season of Giving
Ways to Give
It's the season of giving. Christ gave his life for us and what do we give? Giving should not just be to your family. There are many ways we can give at this time of the year. They add to your enjoyment of the season and to other's enjoyment. Depending on your financial ability, choosing a way to give can be easy or it can be difficult but it is definitely worth finding a way to give to someone besides your family and friends.
One of my favorite ways to give is expensive. I can't always do this but it is great fun to try. I will pick a family that has very little. I will buy a gift for each of the people and enough food for a Christmas dinner. A turkey or ham with all the fixings. Potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, vegetables, rolls, muffin mix, eggs, and a pie with whipped cream makes a good start. If you can do this, it is more fun to put it on the porch, knock and run hide behind a tree to watch. The look on their faces is priceless. Do this a few days ahead to give them time to fix the food. The gifts should be wrapped and labeled for each person. If you don't know the names,put a description (mom, dad, younger boy, older boy, etc.)
Last year, mckbirdbks and Sunnie Day got together and got a man a coat. He was watched walking his kids to school with a blanket wrapped around him. The kids all had coats and were bundled up but obviously these people were having problems and dad didn't have one. They also surprised the family with a turkey. Good people, doing what they can, are the backbone of this country.
If you don't know a family that needs help, your food pantries can often help. They will give you a family that needs help and provide you with ages, interests, and sizes of kids. You can go through them to buy and deliver your gifts. Angel trees abound in the stores, shopping centers all have them, and many restaurants have them. The DAV has one in the restaurant that they hold their meetings in here. They help ex-military families that are having a hard time. The DAV also gives out food at Christmas and also at Thanksgiving. They usually have a fund for those that have a problem at other times; paying electric bills, rent, and buying food.
Most utility companies have a fund for the poor, keeping the heat, electric and water on in the winter is vital to the elderly, unemployed, and working poor. Sometime, think about how you would like to spend Christmas with no heat, or lights and not even water. The people who work at the utilities try to work with people to keep them on, but they have to do their jobs or they will be out of work also.
Offer to take someone who does not have a vehicle shopping. A babysitter is a blessing when you are a single parent and trying to shop for your kids at Christmas. I remember my husband and I taking the kids to the store and trying to hide the presents under a coat so they would not know what they would be getting. He would take them out to the car while I paid and we would stick the packages in the trunk to hide them.
Helping out in a Seniors Center is very rewarding. Many who go there go just for the company and to get warm. Some go because that is the only way that they will get a hot meal. Many Senior Centers offer one hot meal a day and if the people are poor, that may be the only one they get. Help decorate, wrap little gifts, hold a craft class, or just go talk to them. They are a treasure and appreciate it so much.
All of the schools are having their Christmas programs and parties at this time of year. Volunteer to help at one of these. Many parents do not have the time or are working to support their families. If you have the right build and look, offer to play Santa. Volunteers to help at these parties and events are hard to find, always appreciated and they are always fun.
There are many other ways to give, especially at this time of year. If you know of more, or have a favorite, let us know in the comments. We all enjoy giving and love new ideas.
I hope you all have a wonderful, spiritual Christmas and a safe, Happy New Year.
New 2014 Ideas to Enjoy
This year, I was reading an article about the loneliness of Christmas. I was particularly taken with an idea in the comment section. A lady was telling people about how she lives near a military base. The base tries to match young men that cannot get home for Christmas, to a family in the area or on the base; to spend Christmas with.
These young men and women are often on their own for the first time in their lives. They are just 18 and 19 years old, and the loneliness of Christmas without their families hits them hard. Depression and suicide goes up during this time for them. They appreciate that anyone cares enough to invite them over to participate in any pre-Christmas or Christmas activities. They have given a part of their lives to protect our country and are serving us in that respect. Invite some of these young people over to participate in pre-Christmas game nights, or to attend church festivities with you. Invite them to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with you. This would make them feel so blessed and ease any loneliness you might have. The joy of giving and participating in a program like this would be such a blessing for you, your family and these young people.
Let's all see if we can invite some deserving young service member into our lives this Christmas, and make them feel better.