By Lauren Earls
I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays…yes, I even love going to the mall this time of year! There is something magical about listening to Christmas music while dodging shoppers as I sip my latte and take in the pretty decorations that have been carefully hung. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I think what I love more than anything is that most people are searching for the perfect gift to GIVE a loved one.
I think most Christ-followers want to be generous but get stuck because we often think we have to give of our finances in order to be generous and that is just not the case. Generous people live open-handed with whatever is in their hand whether that be money, time, talents or simply a kind word.
Generosity is important to my family ALL year long and I hope it is for yours too. If you are looking to raise generous kids or to be more intentional with your own generosity I wanted to share some ideas of how you can be generous this Christmas, and hopefully, you will carry this on into the years to come.
- Be generous with your TIME:
- Visit an elderly neighbor or family member.
- Volunteer at a food bank or community outreach.
- Be present with your family and friends. It is way more important than the presents or everything being perfect.
- Visit a local hospital or nursing home. Why not sing a few Christmas carols while you are at it?
- Send Christmas cards to those deployed this holiday season.
- Volunteer to babysit a young family’s children so they can go on a date.
- Be generous with your TALENT:
- Can you bake? Take some cookies to your local first responders and businesses.
- If you can sing or play an instrument, set up a time to entertain at a nursing home or to veterans. Get the kids involved too! Trust me, it will be adorable.
- If hospitality is your thing, invite someone over for a holiday dinner who doesn’t have friends and family.
- Cook a meal for a local shelter.
- Be generous with your RESOURCES:
- Have the kids go through old coats and donate them to a coat drive.
- Collect blankets and other essential items and drop them off at a homeless shelter.
- Sponsor a child or family for Christmas. Help provide food and presents for a memorable Christmas day.
- Take coffee or deliver food to people working long hours during the holidays. First responders, nurses, and cashiers (at all those stores you are shopping at) are just a few ideas.
- Be generous with RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS:
- Send an encouraging letter to a friend or family member.
- Offer to put someone’s cart away at the store.
- Pay for someone’s order in a drive-thru or a restaurant.
- Smile and offer a compliment to a complete stranger.
There are so many ways you and your family can be generous this Christmas season and all year long. It is not the size of the gift, but the heart behind the gift. Get the kids involved and be creative. You never know how one act of generosity can impact a person’s life.