Christmastime is often filled with many activities, some of which can feel like obligations, sucking the joy out of them. Standing in long lines at the store, trying to find a parking spot, writing out cards, baking cookies, trying to find the perfect gift, the social engagements…all of it can wear on a person if the reason behind the act becomes one of obligation instead of joy.
Giving back is always something that gives me joy at Christmas. I have three young kids, so it’s hard for me to find time to give. Sure, I donate money to charity or drop off toys or canned food. That’s relatively easy, but there are a couple of events my church does every Christmas that I participate in to give of my time.
The first is a gift-giving tree that my Christcare group (a small group of women who meet every Monday afternoon and do various book and video faith-related studies together) puts up in our lobby. People from the congregation purchase items for kids living in a special-needs facility. After all the gifts are collected, my group wraps them.
The other event is baking cookies for shut-ins. Whoever wants to come shows up at church and bakes, decorates, puts in tins, and delivers cookies to people in the church who are elderly, ill, or lonely. I’ve participated in both of these events for the past several years and really love being able to do something tangible.
What ways to you give back?