5 Practical Ways to Give
Christmas is about Christ. Plain and simple. He came down as a gift to us to save us from ourselves. That is the beauty of the Christmas story. But it’s so easy to loose sight of that in all the commercialism and materialism. But at it’s heart, Christmas is about giving.
And so I’ve compiled some ways that you can practically give in your every day life. Right now. Especially at Christmas.
1. Give Your Time
- Pray for Others: Stop what you are doing and take the time to pray.
- Volunteer at Church: This is a busy time for churches; give them a hand with all their Christmas festivities.
- Sign up at School: Instead of waiting for another parent to tackle that project, you do it.
- Run Errands for Friends: Offer to help when you are going out yourself.
- Watch Kids for Friends: Or let them go out while you watch their little ones.
- Shovel Snow: It only costs time (and maybe a little sweat), but it can mean so much.
- Listen and Watch Attentively: This is the time of year for performances and such. Put the phone away, and give your full attention to what is being presented before you.
2. Give Your Money
- Salvation Army: The bell ringers are out. How about, before you leave the house, you line your pockets with change so that instead of avoiding their gaze, you fill their pot?
- Church: This is probably when many churches struggle financially because they are doing much for the community but people in general are spending their money on each other or themselves. Do your part to change that.
- Lay Away Angel: Become one. Pay off someone’s lay away bill, and revel in what you would imagine their faces to be when they learn of this.
- Tolls: People are on the move during the holidays. So why don’t you pay for the guy behind you in the toll booth line. It might seem like a little thing, but a wave starts with a ripple.
- Charity: Pick one. Anything that is dear to your heart, pick it and send some money. Remember that most of these donations are tax deductible, so that can be a little incentive if you are reluctant to part with your wages.
3. Give Your Things
- Donate Toys: There are tons of places that can use toys, during this season and other times, too: orphanages, day cares, children’s hospitals, Purple Heart, Goodwill. But check with these places before dropping off as they might have specifications that they follow for donated toys.
- Share a Meal: You can invite someone over or you can drop a meal off for them. There is nothing quite like a warm plate of food to make you feel loved.
- Purge Your Closet: If your closets and drawers are stuffed to the brim, it’s time to get rid of things. Try not to get sentimental and simply keep what you really wear, not what you wish you would wear. There are many places to donate, including those bins often found in parking lots. It doesn’t really matter where you donate, just do it!
- Clear Your Bookshelves: Do you have books that you don’t read? Or won’t read again? Truthfully? Then donate them. Check if your local library is accepting donations and maybe you can revisit your donation again.
4. Give Your Heart
- Make a Friend: It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our own families and lives at this time, but why not reach out to someone new?
- Sign up to be an Organ Donor: Now I’m not saying that you should die, but I thought this was as good as time as any to say you should do that. Because if you die, you’re not going to need it, but someone could. Why not give posthumously?
5. Give Your Agenda
- Don’t Overschedule: It can be really easy to think that we need to do this and that and whatever just because it’s December and Christmas is coming and we are running out of time to make memories with our children. Just stop. Allow time for you and your family to just be.
- Let God Lead: If you give up your agenda and your will, you allow for God to take control. He might lead you down the path that you already had in mind, but He may not. Let God be the judge of that and willingly follow where He leads.
In all these things, you should strive to give with a joyful heart. But if you can’t muster that, still give anyway. Sometimes it takes the act of obedience to feel the mentality. But in the end of the day, giving begrudgingly is still better than not giving at all.