When we think about giving during the holidays, we usually think about giving monetarily to those in need. We need to remember we can also be giving with our time and talents. As children we all learned the scripture during Christmas time from Acts 20:35 NIRV,“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” There is another important scripture we must remember during this time also. That is Philippians 2:3-4,“Value others more than yourselves. None of you should look out for just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.”(NIRV) It is important to show our children and younger generations this concept even at a young age to look beyond ourselves and value others. I asked my six-year-old what volunteering means to her and she said, “We teach what God is about, and we show Jesus’s love to others.” There are many opportunities to give of our time and talents during the holidays with our children. Here are some ideas:

Are you a baker? Bake some cookies or a holiday treat for neighbors.

Do you like to cook? Make a meal for someone in your life who could use a night off from cooking because we all know December gets busy quickly.

Love to babysit? Offer to watch your friend’s children while they can get some shopping done.

Hobbies? Knit, crochet, sew, or craft a project for a friend.

Call your local church and ask what organizations they partner with during the Christmas season. Churchome has some Uplift groups (formally Jesus Is projects) that children can attend as well.

Operation Christmas Child collection week is usually in the month of November, but you can gather things here and there all year. My children like to pack their own boxes for a child their own age and pick out everything themselves from the list.

Have your children go through their toys and pick some to donate. In my experience there are different places including the local fire department that will take gently used toys. Take the children with you when you donate and talk about why they are giving away toys to other children.

Is there a talent or gift you have? Use those talents and gifts you have because those are God given talents and gifts. Involve your children with their gifts as well. Come together as a family and spread love and cheer.

This Christmas we have the opportunity to share what Christmas is all about, Christ our Savior. These ideas are for the holiday season, but there are times all year you can also incorporate volunteering into your family time. Volunteering at a kitchen, or going to a retirement home and love on the older generation, volunteering for Arbor day or Earth day are also family friendly opportunities. In all that we do, we can be a light shining on the earth for Jesus.

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