Posted by Todd Smith
One of life’s greatest rewards is helping those who are less fortunate. When we reach out and help those in need, not only does it bless the people’s lives we are helping, but it blesses our lives as well.
During this holiday season, let me encourage you to focus on the good things in your life for which you are grateful. While we would all love to live in a perfect world, none of us do. Instead of thinking negative thoughts about what you don’t have, focus on what you do have.
Will you give unselfishly of your time and/or resources this holiday season to serve or bless those who aren’t as fortunate as you? If you are a parent, read this post with your children and come up with an idea of how you can serve together.
To open your mind, here are some possibilities:
1. Remember our Servicemen and their families. If there is a Veteran’s Home or Hospital near you, send Christmas cards to several of our Heroes, thanking them for their service and sacrifice. Taking cookies or candy is also a possibility. If you know of a wife, mother, or family of a soldier serving overseas, think of ways you can fill their loneliness and let them know people care about them.
2. Love a family member. Who in your extended family is going through a difficult time? How can you show your love and support to this family member? Ideas include sending an encouraging card, making a phone call on Christmas to say you are thinking of him or her, or taking this person to lunch or coffee and sharing the impact he or she has had on your life.
3. Give a gift of sponsorship. Rather than giving your friends or family members more “stuff” they don’t really need, why not give a gift to a charity in their names. You can give a gift that feeds a child, provides clean water for a community, rescues a child from sex slavery, or whatever it is you or the gift receiver are most passionate about.
4. Serve the homeless on Christmas morning. One of the most rewarding things my family has done on Christmas mornings is to serve the homeless. Getting up early, we take coffee, donuts, and little gift bags and go in search of homeless people to wish a Merry Christmas. This year we will be doing it with our four children and five grandchildren.
5. Visit a nursing home. Many elderly people in nursing homes will not have any family or friends visiting them this holiday season. Image sitting in a nursing home during the holidays by yourself.
If this is something that pulls on your heart, call your local nursing home and find out who doesn’t have family in town. Then take them some homemade goodies and spend time visiting with them.
6. Serve a neighbor in need. As you think about your neighbors, which one is having the hardest time this holiday season? It could be someone who has lost a loved one, is struggling financially, or is experiencing health challenges.
Does anyone come to mind? If so, how can you bless that family? Ideas include giving a homemade meal, a loaf of fresh baked bread, your famous holiday cookies, gifts for their children, or inviting them over for Christmas dinner.
7. Bless a single mom. The life of a single mom is a tough life. Do you know a single mom who is having a particularly difficult time? How can you make this holiday season brighter for her and her children? Would a card with an anonymous cash gift enhance their holidays?
8. Help a struggling co-worker. Who at your place of employment is going through a difficult period of time? It could be a divorce, illness, loss of a loved one or some other challenge. Who comes to your mind? Now as you think about this person, what would be the best way to bless him or her?
9. Surprise a family in your community. Working through a local organization, you can learn about a family who is suffering from financial hardship. Then go shopping and deliver Christmas gifts, a turkey, and a couple bags of food so they can enjoy Christmas.
If this is something you want to do, contact your church, synagogue, or work though a local organization that provides this service.
10. Out of the box idea. Okay, I have given you some basic ideas, but as you learned in my post Exploring a New World of Possibilities, the best ideas come when you stretch yourself. Whether it’s Christmas caroling with your friends or making Christmas cookies or candy for your office, there are 101 ways you can touch someone’s life this holiday season.
So, what will you do? Will you give unselfishly of yourself to bless someone’s life this holiday season? What creative ideas do you have? Share what you are going to do in the comment section below this post.
When you give of yourself to serve others in need, you are demonstrating one of the most admirable character traits one can possess.
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Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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