Sunday, November 12, 2017

A New Holiday Tradition and 25 Ways to Love on Others

I cannot believe the holiday season is already upon us!  The "ber" months are my absolute favorite.  And yes, I am that person whose tree has been up for a week already.  Don't judge.  I promise it doesn't mean that I am not grateful or do not love Thanksgiving.  I am just really, really, thankful for Christmas! ;)

I am so excited to share with you a new tradition we are starting with our family this year...The Giving Manger.  This product was created to promote the true meaning of Christmas.  It encourages acts of service and spreading kindness.

Included in the set is:

*A Book- We will read this heartwarming story together to get us all excited about starting this new tradition.

*A Wooden Manger-We will place this somewhere visible in our home.

*A Bundle of Straw-With each act of service, we will place a piece of straw in the manger.

*A Baby Jesus-On Christmas Day, we will place this in the manger full of service and love.

If you would like to order one of these sets and start this tradition with your family, just visit

Also, I have compiled a list of ideas on how to love on and serve others as a family this Christmas season.

1.  Provide baked goods for someone who services you and your community. Think firefighters, policemen, medical staff, postmen, etc.  I know I will be hitting Amazon pretty hard this holiday season, so I plan to do something for the UPS/Fedex drivers who will be working overtime to make all of the special deliveries.

2.  Reach out to the special needs community.  If your area has an organization that services individuals with special needs, donate your time to them.  Or maybe you know a family who has a child with special needs.  Let them know they are seen, heard, and cared for.  It can be as simple as just spending time with them.  Or offer to babysit while the parents go Christmas shopping or just have a break.  There are also great organizations you could donate to.  Ruby's Rainbow is one of my favorites.  They help make people with Down Syndrome's dreams of higher education come true by providing scholarships. 

3.  Support a foster family.  If you know a foster family personally, reach out to them and find out how you can help meet their needs.  If not, you could check out my friend's Foster Joy Project.  Or Together We Rise is a great organization that helps enhance the lives of foster children all across America.

4. Visit a nursing home.  Take a group and go caroling.  Make the residents cards/gifts or take a craft to do with them.  You may be the only guest for some of them.

5.  Volunteer in your community.  Look for local organizations where you can donate your time or money.  If you are near the Shreveport/Bossier area, The Hub Urban Ministries is a great place to start.  The opportunities to serve there are endless and year round.

6.  Offer to help someone wrap presents.

7.  Invite someone you don't know well over for dinner.

8.  Send a thoughtful/just because text message.  This can be done daily.  Just letting someone know that you are thinking about them can brighten their day.

9.   Support an orphan.  Maybe you know someone who is in the process of adopting, make a donation towards their adoption fund.  Or there are amazing organizations like Reece's Rainbow. Go to their site, select a child, and donate to their adoption grant.

10.  Pray for people in need.   Think about our soldiers and their families as they are away from each other.  Or the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one and finds the holiday season to be hard.  Maybe it's someone who has lost their job and is worried about how they will provide for their family, much less buy Christmas gifts. Serving others can be as simple as stopping to say a prayer for them.

11.  Prepare a meal for someone. Maybe it's a pregnant mom or someone who is sick.  Find someone in need, fix them a meal, and drop it off.

12.  Donate to a local food pantry.

13.  Donate to a local homeless shelter or organization. Collect socks, hats, blankets, coats, etc. and drop them off to your local organization.

14. Offer to do yard work for an elderly person.

15. Host a hot chocolate or apple cider stand and donate the proceeds to a charitable organization.  I'll insert a couple of suggestions here.  Numana, Inc is a wonderful organization that helps empower people to serve the hungry all over the world.  I have personally been a part of their events.  Just $9 feeds a child for a month! Another great organization is Compassion International.   They are a child advocacy agency that connects people with compassion to those who suffer from poverty.

16.  Offer to babysit for free.  This is a great way for teenagers to volunteer their time or you could do this as a family.  It could be especially helpful for a single parent.

17.  Participate in a fundraising walk.  Check to see if your area has any walks that support a great cause and do them as a family.

18.  Put money in the Salvation Army bucket when you pass by or volunteer to ring the bell.

19. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. It will make them feel special to know you were thinking about them, and you will both enjoy getting caught up.

20.  Visit a children's hospital.  Take Christmas books to read to the patients.  Take gifts or bring a craft to do with them.  Maybe you don't have a children's hospital in your area, you can still visit the children's ward at a regular hospital.  Call ahead to make arrangements.

21.  Offer to run an errand for someone. Check with an elderly neighbor, someone who is sick, a single parent, etc. and see if you can help them by picking up groceries or Christmas shopping for them.

22.  Leave a very generous tip for your server.

23.  Send a handwritten or homemade Christmas card.  There is nothing like a handwritten note or card. Make someone's day by sending them one unexpectedly.

24.  Donate to a local toy drive.

25.  Random acts of kindness.  Smile at and compliment a stranger.  Hold the door open for someone you don't know or let them go in front of you in a store line.  Pay the tab for someone behind you in a drive through line.  Choose a table at a restaurant and anonymously pick up their tab. Or purchase gift cards and have the cashier/waiter hand them out. 

Do you have any more great service ideas or organizations to support?  I would love for you to share them in the comments below!

Happy Sunday, Friends! I hope you all have a very blessed holiday season!