|The best gift you can give this Christmas is follow Christ's example for us, and give of yourself.
I remember one year when our family was rather stressed out, and my husband lost his job. Someone from our church decided to do "The Twelve Days of Christmas" for us. Everyday from December 12th on, our doorbell would ring and there would be a present on our doorstep. Nothing expensive, we got jams, small toys, a video, socks, cookies, all sorts of things. We never did find out who did it, but God knows! And He will bless them for that gift that meant so much to our family.
- Offer to help someone who's extra-stressed about the holidays, by sharing an hour or two of your time.
- Visit a shut-in or a nursing home. Take a pointsettia, some cookies, or simply a few words to brighten a lonely day. And try not to forget these new friends the rest of the year.
- Share a pot of soup or a casserole with someone who deserves a break.
- Offer to baby-sit so a young mother can shop, address cards, decorate, wrap...or nap.
- Drive an elderly person or a non-driver to the shopping center and back home again. If you have time, help with the shopping.
- Offer to house-sit or dog-sit for traveling friends or neighbours.
- Adopt a family and give them a Christmas when they would ordinarily have none. Check with social services agencies for names of the deserving.
- Share some quiet, reflective time with those who have lost loved ones during the year. The first Christmas without a beloved family member is bittersweet. If you are comfortable and close, encourage fond memories to lift the heart of the grieving.
- Try not to ask "What can I do?" Examine the situation at hand and look for the best way you can help ease someone else's burden, brighten a lonely time, or simply make someone happy.
Give as generously as you are able - confidently, happily and in the best of the Christmas spirit. After all, God gave us His best Gift!