It's recorded in Matthew's Gospel, (Matthew 10:8) that Jesus said, "Freely you have received; freely give." Though our lives may not always be everything we hope for them to be, God has richly blessed each one of us. One of the ways we can demonstrate that we are grateful to God for his many blessings is to help others.
Christmastime provides an opportunity for your family to roll up your sleeves and get involved in helping to meet the needs of others in your community -- showing them the light and love of Christ. Here are some family ideas for reaching out and helping others during the Christmas season:
1. Donate your family's time to help out at a food kitchen or a food bank.
2. Take your family to visit someone you know who lives at a nursing home, who lives alone, or is confined at home because of poor health.
3. Invite neighbors who don't have plans to join your family for Christmas dinner.
4. Provide some (or all) of the Christmas dinner groceries for a needy family in your community. Take the family along to make the delivery.
5. Have your family gather winter clothes and coats that don't fit any longer, or are no longer wanted or needed -- and distribute them to homeless people in your area -- or deliver them to a local shelter.
6. Make some bag lunches and take your family into the community to distribute them to homeless people in your area. (Make sure ahead of time that your local authorities allow this type of distribution.)
7. Make more Christmas treats than you need for your holiday meals. As a family, deliver extras to the neighbors or to a needy family in your area.
8. Find an elderly person in your area that could use some help at the grocery store. Better yet, invite them to your home for a special holiday meal.
9. Find a family in your area that could use some help to take care of fall yard cleanup, basic repair or weatherization around their home. Buy the needed materials and get to work as a family!
10. Invite a neighbor's family over to your home for a simple, fun family game night.