As I talked about in part one of this series, Christmas is just getting started! At our house we celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. And one of the Christmas traditions Will and I started with our family last year was to reach out to others in fun, special, big and small ways during these holy 12 days in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior in a very special way!
Last year, Will, my amazing husband who passed onto heaven in July, and some of my friends and blog readers brainstormed and came up with a wonderful list of ways that we can reach out to people with the Good News of Jesus during these twelve days. The boys and I are excited about finding ways to serve and bless each other here in our own family and reaching into our community with His love and grace. Our biggest challenge this year is narrowing down which ones we will be doing!
Here are some of the ways we can share the Good News of God’s love with others as a way of passing on the amazing gift of His precious Grace that He gives us every day! I hope you find some ideas on this list that will work for you and your family!
One way to do this is to find secret ways to go out of your way to bless each other in your family. You can draw names and be secret Christmas Angels to each other. Find ways to secretly serve the person you drew by doing their chores before they do without being asked, write them secret notes of encouragement signing them your Christmas Angel, things like that. Then on January 6th, give them a gift you make or create from your heart…and have everyone reveal who their secret Christmas angel is.
Here are some other ways that you or your family can share the Good News with those in need…ways you can serve them the way that Christ served the Church…sacrificial love. Wonderful ways to give all the Glory to God to encourage others to draw near to Him.
- Forgive someone who has hurt you in the past…and write them a letter or call them to extend the same Grace that God offers us to them.
- Buy a Bible for someone who doesn’t have one…it doesn’t have to be expensive. Bibles are sold in Dollar Stores these days. But it could be exactly what someone really needs this Christmas.
- Sit with an elderly person and ask them about their story…and really listen to what they have to say.
- Many shelters receive help during the weeks leading up to Christmas…but these wonderful places of refuge still need help after Christmas Day. Why not buy a gift card to a local grocery store and bring it to a shelter so that they can buy food supplies that they need for a day.
- Pay for the food for the car behind your’s in a drive thru–and hand the food service worker a note to give them that says, “Jesus loves you…pass it on” when they pull up and try to pay.
- Spend special time with your children really listening to them as they tell you stories of what is important to them.
- Spend special time really listening to your husband instead of being the one to do most of the talking.
- Bake an extra pie in preparations for Christmas at your house and deliver it to a neighbor after Christmas.
- Volunteer to help clean up your church one day the week after Christmas as a way to serve the Lord.
- If you have been blessed financially this Christmas, pass on the blessing by giving your server at a restaurant a large tip…grace size like $20-50 or however much the Lord leads you to give. Hand it to them at the beginning of your meal with a smile and a note telling them that Jesus loves us and has blessed you abundantly and you wanted to pass on the blessing to them.
- Adopt a child through the Compassion Project.
- Build-a-Box for Operation Christmas Child On-Line! There is still time! They’ve created a process where you can build a box for a boy or girl online. You can customize your shoe box gift by selecting gifts from their list of items and adding a personal letter and photo. Your $30 donation will be used to build and send a box, share the love of Jesus Christ, and bless the children around the world through Operation Christmas Child.
- Surprise your husband and do one of his household chores before he does and don’t tell him you did it.
- Surprise your children and give them a day off from chores as a blessing.
- If you know of someone who is going through serious financial trials from job loss or medical problems, etc…buy them a grocery store gift card or a gas card and mail it to them with a note reminding them of how much God does love them and is with them through these trying times…sign it “your Christmas Angel”.
- Fill a stocking with new, fresh school supplies for a family that is struggling so that the children are blessed with some new school supplies when the start back to school in January…put it in a sealed box…leave it on their porch when you know that they are home…ring the door bell and then run away so they don’t see you. This one is so much fun!
- Give a gift card from a local gas station and put it with homemade goodies and leave it in your church’s office for the maintenance person…the person who silently serves the church everyday without much recognition.
- Anonymously pay a family’s overdue fines at the library and ask the librarian to call and tell them it has been paid so they can check out books again and enjoy the gift of reading together.
- Volunteer to babysit for a family with children who can’t afford a baby sitter and rarely get time alone…do it for free! And after the children go to bed, clean their kitchen from top to bottom!
- Call the church to find out who in your church has been in the hospital recently and volunteer to go to their home and clean the bathrooms and do their laundry for them or mop the floors.
As you can see this just a list of some of the ways you can reach out to someone during the twelve days after Christmas. What’s important to remember is that if you don’t have a lot of money, you…we…can still give sacrificially to pass on the amazing, sacrificial grace that God gives us every day! Whether we sacrifice our pride by forgiving someone who has hurt us…sacrifice time by doing for or serving others…or if we can help financially…the key is to do it and give all the Glory to God.
We are excited about finding ways to love others sacrificially for Christmas…often we think of Jesus’ sacrifice of His human life on the Cross at Easter. But Christmas is a very special time to remember the sacrificial love Jesus gave us when He humbled Himself and was born of a humble Hebrew maiden. The King of Kings and Lord or Lords…gave up His Heavenly home and became a human being. Wow! Now that is Love! Love given out of pure Grace…nothing we earned…just because He loved us so much.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 NIV