How to Serve this Holiday Season
Christmas is quickly approaching! This is the time of year when we begin thinking more about other people. Who will I celebrate Christmas with? Who will I buy gifts for? Who will I cross paths with over the next several weeks as holiday parties and special events start filling my calendar?
Often, the people we think about most are our own family and close friends. And that’s completely appropriate! Holidays are traditionally a time to gather with family and celebrate.
In reality, more people than ever are struggling more deeply, experiencing loneliness, and facing new financial burdens. Life’s hardships create isolating experiences for many during the holidays. It’s challenging to feel like celebrating when you’re walking alone through a hard time.
Here are three ways to consider expanding your Christmas and looking outward to serve others. How can you—maybe alongside your family and friends—help bring light to the darkness that others find themselves in?
1. Give your time or donations to members of our community who need it most.
This Christmas season, we’re collecting specific items to cover basic needs like winter weather clothing, food, and more. Visit our Christmas Giving page to learn about all the specific needs. Donations will be collected in The Crossing foyer on December 4th and 11th.
We’re also serving a Christmas meal to the residents at Paquin towers on Monday, December 19th. To learn more or sign up, visit this page.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
2. Broaden your Christmas plans to include others.
Without a doubt, the busiest room in our house is the kitchen. We have a table that is the hub for meals, crafts, homework, and conversations. When people come over, we spend more time there than we do in our living room! My husband and I both love to cook and have others in our home, so we love including others in that experience.
But this time of year, I’m also aware that there are people who don’t have a place to go or family to share Christmas plans with and others who have relational brokenness, which means there may not be a gathering.
How can we embrace others whose Christmas plans don’t look like ours? Here are some suggestions:
- Pull up another chair or two at your holiday table.
Do you know a single mom who could use a break? Do you have a divorced friend who won’t have their children on Christmas? Maybe you have a neighbor who lost their spouse earlier this year. The simplest way to look a little farther out is to consider who you might invite to celebrate Christmas with you and your family.
- Donate food items or your time to provide a meal for others.
- Several community efforts provide meals to our homeless community and others in deep need. Consider giving a few hours of your day to one of these efforts.
3. Find simple ways to expand your serving beyond the holidays.
Loving others outside our usual circle is meaningful in our lives as much as it is for the ones we serve. Once you’ve thought about ways to serve this Christmas season, you may feel motivated to serve all year long.
Here are two easy suggestions for doing so:
Think about what you are already doing.
Who can you invite into your regular routines? Think about including those who came to mind earlier to include into normal parts of your day. We eat dinner as a family most nights during the week. But for others who are alone or have messy family relationships, this may be a lonely time of day. We don’t always need to add something to our schedule; we can invite others into something we’re already doing. Get creative – sometimes, that means bringing a friend along to a kid’s baseball game or soccer practice. What a great use of an hour to spend with someone who may otherwise be alone.
Join one of The Crossing’s Care Ministry Teams:
The Community Response Team:
This serving team allows you to serve in ways that fit your schedule and abilities. Serve every week or every so often. When you sign up, you’ll receive regular emails with updated opportunities to serve others in our community by meeting practical needs.
The Jefferson City Care Team:
Hundreds of our church family live in Jeff City, and we want to serve the community there. This newest Care Team will offer meals, home and hospital visits, and prayer for those living in the area. If you live in Jeff City or surrounding areas and want to serve, this is a great option.
Check out The Crossing Care Ministry to learn about other opportunities to serve.
We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Jesus tells the story of a man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. And whose life was changed significantly when a Samaritan—a man not from his own family or people—stopped to give care when he needed it most. (Luke 10:25-37)
I can only imagine how lonely the attacked man felt on that dark path… at least until the hand of a stranger offered him to help him up.
Love your neighbors as yourself. Who is your neighbor? Let’s think about who we can serve and care for this Christmas.
Serving others can start in your own neighborhood! Here are four easy steps to loving your neighbors this Christmas.