During this holiday season, it can be pretty tough for a lot of folks. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in making sure you get the right gift for your kid or that you spend the right amount of time with everyone that you love. At the same time, it is also easy to forget those who kind of slip through the cracks. Those that usually end up spending the holidays alone, without any family. Maybe you are even someone who dreads spending the holidays in solitude. I thought it would be a good idea just to throw a few ideas out there that will remind us to think outside the box and be able to bring cheer to someone in the next couple of weeks.
1. Find someone else who is alone and have dinner together.
I know that it is easy for me to all start feeling sorry for myself and think I have it hard. At the same time, there are ways to combat this. We have the power to make a change and one way of doing that is reaching out and finding someone else who is also alone this season. If you have nothing else in common, this one thing will bind you. It might take courage, it might take guts. I know that any time I start thinking about others and what they need, it makes my woes not seem so bad. If you feel uncomfortable meeting them in their home alone, you can invite them out for dinner!
2. Send out personal messages to those needing encouragement.
Snail mail is not dead. I still love getting cards in the mail that are personal and took a little thought. Even if it's a payment for a project I worked on, the little note included still makes a warm spot in my heart. Think about all those going through really tough times this season. Maybe you know someone who lost a loved one over the past year and this season is a painful reminder. Or maybe your friend lost their job and they need a little extra cash tucked in with a word of encouragement.
3. Offer to watch kids for a busy couple or single parent.
We all know that this time of year can get pretty crazy. Though I am not a parent, I am pretty sure that parents out there can attest to the fact that they just want to catch a break. Offering to watch a friend's kids while they either go run errands or maybe spend time with their spouse or friends can be a simple way to lighten the load.
4. Practice being aware of simple needs around you.
Thinking about extravagant ways to make someone's day or really be of help, can paralyze me sometimes. It prevents me from noticing the little moments that need care. Take time to just be aware of the little things around you that need help. Just the act of helping in a small way can make a big impact. It makes others feel extra special because you took the time to notice the details. When someone looks down and they end up opening up, offer to pray with them. Listen.
All throughout the Bible God has made it clear that helping others is a big priority. The widows, orphans, and poor are especially on His list of those we must care for. We shouldn't just do it to make sure we are good people. I am beginning to understand that God wants us to make sure others are taken care of because He wants us to participate in His ministry. By participating He can make a big impact on lives that would otherwise not know Him. If God has blessed you in a mighty way and shown you His abounding mercy, doesn't it just make you want others to know that love too? God wants to spread LOVE. Why not join in?
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' - Matthew 25:40
If you have any other helping ideas, please share with us in the comments!