The idea of Christmas as the “season of giving” is so ingrained in us that it’s practically a cliché. Yet most of our giving takes place among friends and family. What if you gave to people you don’t know … and who can’t give anything back?
Whether you’re back home for the holidays or celebrating your first Christmas in a new city, there are plenty of ways to give grace-filled gifts:
Operation Christmas Child. Fill a shoebox with school supplies and toys, wrap it up, then ship it to Samaritan’s Purse (an organization led by Franklin Graham). Your gifts will be delivered to an underprivileged child in a developing country. samaritanspurse.org
Angel Tree. Purchase and deliver simple gifts to children with one or more parent in prison, through Chuck Colson’s Prison
Go Christmas caroling at a nursing home. Spread holiday cheer and friendly smiles in an often-lonely place. Be sure to sit down with residents to talk and listen.
Deliver poinsettias, bread, or fruit baskets to people who are homebound. Get a list of elderly members from your church, then deliver gifts to them. If they invite you to come inside to chat? Always say yes.
Serve a holiday meal at a shelter. A friendly face and a hot meal are enough to satisfy some at Christmas. Find a local homeless ministry and ask if you can help with an upcoming meal.
Want to shine the light of Christ’s compassion into the dimly lit corners of our culture? There’s no better time than Christmas. This year, make the “season of giving” really count.