While most of the nation is beginning to get into the Yule Tide Spirit and Decking their halls, for many others around the world Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t necessarily a season of celebration. There are so many people battling illness, many without homes or families to celebrate with.
As parents it is our responsibility to instill in our children at a young age that this Holiday season isn’t just about us and our families, but also about serving others. Even the smallest of children can easily be involved in serving those in need.
Here is a list of 5 Ways Your Kids Can Serve Others This Holiday Season:
1) Nursing Homes – weather it’s gathering your kids to make cards for the elderly or rounding up a group from the neighborhood to go and sing Christmas carols, visiting a nursing home is an excellent service opportunity for young children. Something about the older and youngest of generations coming together really is so very special and can mean the world to someone who may be away from their family or perhaps recently lost their spouse. A quick call to your local nursing home and you should be able to set a visit up fairly quickly.
2) Serving Food – Several homeless shelters and churches will set up special meals for the homeless during the Holiday season. This may not be for tiny hands (we will leave that judgement call up to the parents) but serving a meal to someone in need is always a great way to serve.
3) Blessing Bags – These are bags that we used to build with our bible study and pass out while driving whenever we saw someone in need of food. During the holidays the kids and I like to make special ones and we fill up gallon ziplock bags with socks, hand warmers, tuna, applesauce, crackers, water and other various non perishable items that could bless someone in need.
4) Food or Clothing Drive – Some kids will participate in various canned food drives or coat drives during the Holiday season but even if your kids aren’t in school or your school don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you can not start your own. You and your children could go door to door in your neighborhood or simply let your family and friends know what your mission is and collect the food or clothing and donate to a local shelter.
5) Operation Christmas Child – This one is by far one of my most favorite service opportunities to do with my kids. Each year we make 2-3 boxes for a little boy or girl in need. We gather a few shoeboxes and then hit up Target and Walmart and stuff our boxes to the brim with candy and toys and toiletries and craft supplies to send around the world to bless a child in need. The girls have a blast shopping for the child and I love watching them carefully select items and their reasoning behind them. We always leave a little note and usually a picture of our family and drop them at the local donation center, which you can find one near you HERE. Last year over 10 MILLION boxes were passed out to children around the world.
Serving together as a family is one of the most rewarding things. Even my boys who are 3, can get involved in most of these service opportunities.
How have you and your family served together?