Is it really the holiday season, already?! I can't wrap my brain around it. I'm excited about it, though. Last Thanksgiving and Christmas was absolutely wonderful. We had the best time playing and getting together with family, but I felt like time slipped away from me before I really even thought about how to incorporate the service aspect of the season into our routine and into my children's hearts and minds.
The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself
service of others.
If you're looking for ways to serve this holiday season (and all year!) here's a list of 15 things you can do.
1. Ask your bishop, pastor, or minister what a family in need in your ward or congregation would like or needs for the holidays. (Gift cards, dinner, specific clothing items, etc.)
2. Do an advent calendar, but with service projects instead of candy or treats. Ex. Day 1: Take a friend a plate of cookies, Day 2: Take your neighbors trash can back to their house from the road, etc.
3. Put together bags for families and children at the NICU at a hospital near you. There are other ways to help (here) at the Duke's Children's Hospital as well.
4. A church in the area started a neat thing called "You Got Christmas'd" which is basically doing small acts of service for others. If you're in the drive-thru line and pay for the person behind you, that person "Got Christmas'd" :). If you put a dollar or two on a Red Box machine with a note telling someone to enjoy a free movie, that person got "Christmas'd". Isn't that fun?
5. Give your post-man a treat and a note thanking him/her for their service.
6. Offer to babysit for friends or family so they can run errands, etc.
7. Choose a child to help from Angel Tree.
8. Instead of giving presents to extended family members, perform an hour of community service in their honor. Great way to stay motivated to serve your community!
9. Donate blankets to your local ASPCA for animals to stay warm during the cold season.
10. Leave a really generous tip the next time you're at a restaurant.
11. Make a special bag (some people refer to them as blessing bags) for homeless people.
12. Donate to Operation Christmas Child. The donation week is next week.
13. Donate books, toys, food, miscellaneous items to children and families at a Ronald McDonald house near you.
14. Participate in Light 'Em up or start a Light 'Em Up group (this is basically pushing pause on all the busyness of the season and focusing on serving others instead.) This site comes with free printables as well!
15. Take baked good to your neighbors and friends.
One thing that I think is really important about service this time of year (and always) is that our actions don't have to be large. We ale don't need to exclude anyone from our service radar. Just because people appear to have it all together on the outside, doesn't mean that they wouldn't enjoy a tasty treat or a thoughtful note or anything that says, "I'm thinking about you!"
A big, special thanks to these ladies who contributed to this post.
Carla, Jennie, Lindsay, Kayla, Jenny, Mirage J., Sharon, Mary Beth, Bethany, Megan, Meredith
Happy Monday, everyone! I feel like it's going to be a great week!
Linking up with Funday Monday.