I think it can be very tempting at this time of year to forget about others as let’s face it, we are insanely busy, there is a lot to do and lots of things to be at. It can be such a lonely time of year for a lot of people though and I was brought up that each Christmas Eve we would go and do something for someone else. And as we celebrate Christ’s birth, lets not forget that He was the ultimate example of service.
It has been hard to keep that tradition I grew up with going with my own family, mainly due to little kids and not knowing many people where I live now. But excuses, excuses, I’m going to make an extra effort this year. So I have had a little think about things that are child-friendly ways to serve.
- Write Notes or Draw Pictures for Elderly Neighbours or a Care Home – we can all draw a picture at least and posted off to a care home would really make someone’s day.
- Serve Each Other at Home – may sound simple but it’s those jobs that we normally have to be asked to do or if we did someone else’s usual assigned job for them. Encourage the kids to clear their siblings toys or assigned job like setting the table.
- Pack Up a Shoebox – go out together and pick out things that would work for an overnight box for someone in a home or refuge (toothbrush etc) and then package it all up nicely and deliver it.
- Leave a Gift for the Postman – how nice for them to have something to take home with them or a note to read. I bet that happens basically never.
- Get Your Bake On – I don’t think you can go wrong with something that has been baked. My mums signature Christmas treat was homemade mince pies and caramel shortbread so baking those brings back fond memories for me. I remember a family bringing us over some homemade cinnamon rolls and it was one of the best Christmas Eve’s ever. Whatever it is, keep it simple and get the kids involved.
- Compliment – Encourage every member of your family to look each person they come across that day in the eye, smile, and express their appreciation with a simple thank you or a compliment.
- Volunteer to babysit – as a family, for a couple with small children so that they can go out on a date.
- Random acts of kindness– everyone loves this, especially kids. It’s a fun way to be a secret santa. There are hundreds of random acts of kindness you can find online. I remember doing a lot of this growing up and it is so fun when its anonymous and you do a ‘ding-dong-dash’ kind of drop off.
- Donate Clothes or Toys – Kids play with only a handful of their toys and, of course, they outgrow their clothes, so gather up what we can and give them away to someone we know, to a charity shop or to an organisation that helps those in need.
- Take Food to a Food Bank / Shelter – go the supermarket, explaining to the kids what you are doing and they could pick out their favourite things to eat, to give to others.
Hopefully this has inspired you to do something this season. We certainly will be.