Christmas is a time for giving. And for many, it is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who may be lonely, hurting or less fortunate. Although gift giving is undeniably a wonderful part of this season, let’s talk about how you can impact the lives of others with your Christmas giving!
Christmas season in our home is all about giving gifts we make ourselves and serving others in need. We look for ways to be uplifting, to share love, hope, and joy. We love to focus on random acts of kindness to impact the lives of others. It can be as small as leaving a note of encouragement or as big as you choose to make it. Wouldn’t be awesome to pay for the grocery shopping of a busy mom with little ones in the supermarket line?
How to Impact Lives with Christmas Giving
We were created to do good. The Bible says we were created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). So we must always look for opportunities to bless others. There are always things we can do to impact lives.
I am a cancer survivor and mother to three wonderful children I was told I couldn’t have. My life is nothing short of a miracle and my way to celebrate it is by giving and serving others. I feel so blessed to be alive today. And you are too!
So if we are so blessed, why not bless others around us with random acts of kindness? Especially during the holidays when so many people are away from their families or have no family to celebrate with. Random acts of kindness are an opportunity to give back and to pay it forward. It also to teaches our children to be compassionate and generous to others
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran
“It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).
These ideas are perfect for every day of the year, but they can especially help out at Christmas time. Are you ready to start blessing people with meaningful Christmas giving?
How You Can Make a Difference with Your Christmas Gifting
While this is just a short list, there are many ways that you can introduce impactful Christmas giving into the lives of others. Giving back this Christmas doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some ideas for how you can serve others this season.
Dinner and Christmas Songs
I know at least 5 people in my neighborhood that spend too much time alone. It might be because they are elderly, they are recently divorced, no local family, they are new to the area or tend to be introverts. It does not matter what the reason is, whenever possible we choose a few and invite them for a nice dinner at our house. The kids make an invitation, decorate it, and deliver it in person a few days before.
We spend time planning our meal, they help cook the meal and set a nice table for our guests. We pick up our dinner guests if we need to and spend the night eating and having fun together. After dinner, my husband plays some of our favorite Christmas songs and it is always a magical time together.
We usually have a few fun cookie or bread baking sessions during the month of December. Cookie Baking and bread creating bring back memories for almost all ages and it’s so much fun for the kids. We then have them make up a cookie box to take to a nursing home or a local food bank. You can also contact the food bank and ask if you and your kids can do some baking there.
Not only you can bake cookies, but also bread and muffins. These can be wrapped and frozen so nothing goes to waste.
And why not open your doors for your neighbors to come bake some cookies together? We see each other on the run but do not truly spend enough time together. A fun afternoon with some apple cider and Christmas music will allow all to get to know each other better.
Help for Exhausted Moms
I know so many moms who are overwhelmed that could use a hand! I have been in this place so many times. We, moms, need compassion, support, and some practical help from time to time. So what could our household have to offer?
We can offer some babysitting. house cleaning, help with the laundry and some homemade cooked meals. These are things we can do so easily and that can help an exhausted mom so much!
Day of Volunteering
We all have basic skills that our community would benefit from. Some examples are shoveling snow, raking leaves, taking in the paper, helping to carry groceries, walking the dog, helping with laundry and helping with cleaning.
Have a family meeting and talk about your gifts and talents and how you can volunteer in your neighborhood or in your church. Serving others is so rewarding and such a blessing to those who are helped!
We have a lot of local college students that sometimes seem a bit lost during the month of December. They seem to be eager to have the upcoming break to go home to family. Part of the Christmas gift of giving is to help support those individuals. We ask out our church and other local churches if they have anyone that would benefit from a home-cooked meal with people that will consider them family. Once we have a list we set up simple invitations for a night of celebration and thankfulness to everyone in our life. At our house, we make a simple meal of college kids favorite and give Christmas cookies to take home.
Christmas Caroling is our favorite thing to do as a family! While I am a disaster singing (LOL), my husband plays guitar and sings like an angel and my kids love singing Christmas carols! And why not invite some friends to join you? Christmas Caroling brings the Christmas spirit alive, it brings us back our memories and it helps us to make new memories.
You can either go door to door in your neighborhood or any neighboorhood of your choice, or you can invite your neighbors in for a night of Christmas Caroling, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies.
Organize A Dinner of Thanks
I love to cook and having people over for dinner or coffee and cake. There are so many people that serve us in our community. I can think of “Always Happy Kat” who lights up the post office with her smile, always cheerful. How about your kids’ teacher?
I feel we should also acknowledge the police and firefighters in our community in some way during the holiday. While we cannot personally serve every one of these fine people a meal, we can cook a lovely meal for a few of them. Let them know how much you appreciate their service to your community and how important they are.
Make Mason Jar Meals
It used to be really difficult to get a meal out to the homeless. If they didn’t want to come to a shelter or soup kitchen, they would go hungry. We wanted to give back a warm meal for part of our month of Christmas giving, so the trendy Mason Jar meals was a way to do this.
My favorite recipe for this is Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping by Iowa Girl Eats. I do not always include recipes but this is perfect for a hot nutritious meal with cornbread a the topping. It keeps well in the Mason Jar and stays warm. We go and had these out on a Saturday afternoon at the local soup kitchen as an extra meal for those in need.
Also, Mason Jar Meals can be a real blessing as a gift to a young mom or an elderly neighbor. From cookie jars, spa jars to soup jars, I’ve been collecting great Christmas Mason Jar Gifts ideas in one of my Pinterest’s board. Check it out!
A Week of Paying it Forward
We budget each family member $20.00 for the Week of Paying it Forward. The rules are that the money may not be used to benefit you. If you are in the lunch line and someone forgot their money, we use that money.
If someone looks like they could use a hot cup of coffee, simply buy them one. We each keep a journal for the week as to where our money was spent and review how we were blessed in helping others. This teaches our kids stewardship as well.
Donate a Christmas Meal
Every year entire meals for the local food bank are given out 2 days before Christmas and I am here to tell you there are never enough meals. At any given time your life circumstances could change and you could be wondering where your next meal is coming from. It has happened to us.
My husband and I have been missionaries for years. When we first moved to Canada, we had no money, two toddlers, and a baby on the way. It was our first real Winter and we were so far away from family. We were new pastors in the town and because our work visa had not yet arrived, we were working as volunteers, eating off a box of food donations our church had lovingly set up for us.
I will never forget that Christmas when we saw the goodness and generosity of so many people towards us, some of them were complete strangers. Not only they brought us a basket filled with food and a big turkey for our Christmas meal but they also gave us a huge bag of Christmas presents for our children.
That experience was life-changing. The next two Christmas we had the opportunity to pay back! We cooked for the soup kitchen, made turkey sandwiches and cakes to give away and hosted a Christmas breakfast with caroling for the less fortunate in town.
We also collected and delivered hundreds of presents to the local Women’s shelter and dozens of Christmas baskets to First Nations families while joyfully singing Christmas songs at their doors.
Ready to Impact Lives with Your Christmas Giving?
Simple random acts of kindness can change lives. It spread joy and hope around us. As the Christmas season approaches, talk to your family and ask your children for ideas on how your family can impact lives with your Christmas giving. Share some of these ideas I gave you with them and make a list of the ones you want to try.
But please, don’t be stuck on the Christmas giving only….these ideas can be done any time of the year. We need more goodness and compassion in this world! We all need more love, hope, and kindness. So throw kindness around like confetti and make of this a better world! We were given gifts and talents to bless others and we were all made to shine our lights bright for God’s glory.
The best gift you could give someone is a gift that makes an impact on their lives. For more ideas, take a look at these 200 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas.