Christmas time is a good time to consider giving back. Not just to acknowledge the love you have for your family and friends, but to make a difference in the lives of people you don’t know.
The holidays are a time when we think about what we have been blessed with. And hopefully to recognize that no matter how big or how small, each person can make a difference in the world. Maybe it’s a simple smile when passing a stranger on the street. Or paying for the food for the person behind you in the drive-through line. Let’s make a difference in the life of someone.
Giving back ideas
If no ideas immediately come to mind for giving back this year, try one of these six ways to pay it forward this holiday season.
1. Homemade gifts
I. Cherish. Homemade. Gifts. This is a fun idea to do with your kids during Christmas. Maybe you make potholders. Or picture frames. Or baby blankets. Or bake cookies. There are tons of crafty ideas at your local craft stores, or on Pinterest. Give a handmade gift to someone in your community who lives alone or who has no family nearby during the holidays.
2. White elephant gifts
We do white elephant every Christmas at my work, and it is hysterical. It’s also a fun, no-cost team-building activity. It’s become a major creative competition at my workplace, and you could totally make this work with your family to go off-road from the traditional gift-giving. This is a good way to give back to your family without breaking a budget and taking some of the pressure off to find the perfect gift.
While volunteering is a great idea any time of the year, it just feels extra special during the holidays. Some great ideas include visiting the elderly in nursing homes and senior centers. Helping serve at a homeless shelter. Making care packages for active military. Your community likely has opportunities to help out, just Google “volunteering” and see what strikes your family as something great to do together. We packaged meals one year and it was a meaningful experience for us to get to do that as a family.
4. Sponsor an orphan
We live in a plentiful nation and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of the material side of the holidays. But there are 147 million orphans in the world. That means there are kids without mommies and daddies at Christmastime. Some of them don’t have access to food or education, much less presents. So, if you’re looking for a way to do good and feel good, consider sponsoring an orphan at Christmas and beyond.
5. Help fund a microloan
I just learned about microloans a few years ago during a Bible study by Jen Hatmaker. You choose the amount that fits your budget, and the awesome thing is the money you invest is paid back to you, or you can keep investing it to help other entrepreneurs get on their feet. Helping fund a microloan helps combat poverty and makes the world a better place. Funding a microloan sounds expensive, but it’s not. Check it out.
6. Give gifts with a conscience
I love, love, love homemade items, especially when I know buying them helps someone else. Whether the items are made by a refugee woman trying to make a better life for her children, or the company selling the merchandise gives back some of the proceeds to do social good, I feel better about shopping! Check out some socially conscious merchants to do this year’s Christmas shopping.
While shopping is fun, so is shaking things up and making unique memories with your family. Giving back during Christmas is a surefire way to create memories and impact lives. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have a very blessed Christmas (HBD, JC).