Who loves the holidays? Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year? I do. I love them all so much. I love the ambiance. I love the time with loved ones. I love the celebration of our Lord and the overwhelming gratitude we give this time of year. I love it all!!
I love to watch the way people open their hearts more this time of year. There's a warmth that comes with dropping your coins into the Salvation Army Bucket or giving the extra dollar at your local grocery to feed families in need. All of those things help so much. I'll tell you something though. There's something even more special in developing an actual plan for our giving this time of year. When we look around at our communities to discover the places in the most need, adopt a family, or participate in something like Project Christmas Child, we become intentional about caring for others.
I encourage you to consider your holiday plan for others. While you're busy with cooking, shopping, and decorating, think of ways that you can reach out. Share the plan with your family and involve everyone. There are many things you can do to bring holiday cheer to others. All of the giving that happens this time of year helps others into the next year too. It can be such a wonderful thing.
Even if you don't find the kind of joy that I do in the season, I believe you'll find yourself blessed by giving. It is an incredible gift to be able to know the joy and relief you can bring to others. We are meant to be caring for humankind. Who knows? Your wonderful holiday plan could extend to serving year round!
If you don't know how to go about finding ways to help, ask around your community. Look for local opportunities. Try http://www.volunteermatch.org/. There are many resources to help. Bless you all this season. Enjoy the gift of giving!
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “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 25:35-40