‘Tis the season to be jolly, merry and down-right busy!
And what an opportunity to turn that around by bringing the family together to find creative ways to give back at Christmas.
When Giving Back Changed For Us
As a family we’ve always enjoyed giving to others. However, it was during times of financial hardship that was the catalyst to changing how we gave to others.
When we were brought down to nothing, we found creative ways to have quality family time. For us that was meant watching family movies with a message, so we could dialogue about the movies afterwards.
Both movies influenced our way of giving and made us more sensitive to whom we gave to.
The impact of the movies affected our children as well, which made it easier to teach them the value of giving especially during Christmas.
We don’t want to give away the details of the movies, but both movies highlighted the importance of how each of us can make an impact in someone life with what we have right now.
Even in times of financial struggle, when we went out of our way as a family to help others have a Merry Christmas; we had some of the “best Christmases.” And that’s a direct quote from our children.
5 Ways To Give Back
From our experience, we want to share five ways to give back at Christmas as a family. (By the way, these work anytime of the year, not just at Christmas.)
Invite Someone Over For Dinner
This is one of the easiest things to do especially if you are already cooking dinner for yourself.
Pay attention to those who are; single, just lost a love one, lost their job, or someone who lives near you with no immediate family.
Trust us, they will be blessed tremendously to sit around a kitchen table enjoying a good meal with friends.
One of the biggest challenge for a couple or single parent, is a reliable and inexpensive baby sitter. This may not sound like fun, but this will literally cost you nothing but time.
Having a close friend or family member volunteer to babysit for free, is just as valuable, if not more, than any gift you can purchase.
Invite A Family Over For Game Night
There were times we wanted to bless an entire family and all we could afford was hot chocolate.
So we invited them over to play a game, giving them the free gift of laughter. The night was memorable for everyone!
However, it wasn’t because of the hot chocolate. It was because we laughed and had a great time while being competitive.
The best part; it didn’t cost us anything to have a great time! Of course we documented the evening in The Game Ledger! That way our bragging rights were recorded.
You know, in case there’s a dispute later about who won! Just saying…
Serve The Community As Family
When we were experiencing financial hardship and couldn’t give in ways we had in the past, serving the community was on the first things we did.
If you haven’t served in your community together as a family, we would strongly encourage you to do so. You can check with your local charities, schools, hospitals, or even with your church.
The opportunities are there we just have to look for them.
Invite Someone To Christmas Service
During Christmas, people are the most receptive to receiving gifts, whether they believe in the message of Christ or not.
Unfortunately, some people are also more depressed during Christmas because they have no family, feel alone, or have no sense of hope.
And that is our que to invite someone looking for hope to a Christmas service. This gentle invite is an opportunity for their heart to be restored and overwhelmed with the presence of God through song, or an encouraging word.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who could use a glimpse of hope. It will cost nothing but the courage to invite them.
In The End
We have come to trust God whole heartily with our finances, our giving, and our receiving.
That’s because the Bible tells us that God will provide seed for us to sow (to give to others), AND bread for our eating (needs met for our household).
“And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity].” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10 (AMPC)
No matter where you find yourself in this season, purpose as a family to seek God as to how He wants to use your family to bless others and restore hope in someone’s life. This family experience will help create a generation of givers for God’s glory.
Don’t be concerned about the how. Where there’s a willingness to give, God creates a way.
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~ André and Timberley Gray