I don’t hate Christmas.
I just hate what it has become.
In our western culture, Christmas has become more and more secularized and commercialized. I don’t think there’s much we can do about that either from a cultural perspective. But I do think we can use Christmas as an excellent teaching opportunity for our kids. Personally – but I think for most of us – we need more ‘stuff’ at Christmas like we need a large hole in our head. And likewise our kids.
We haven’t completely abandoned Christmas gift giving in our home – but we’ve definitely deliberately downplayed it. We’ve shared with our kids that for the most part your birthday is the time when we focus on giving gifts to you and Christmas is a time when we serve others. Trust me, we’re not pros at this by any stretch – but I think we improve in this year after year. My goal would be to have a Christmas that is an exciting time not because of what is under the tree, but because of the sheer joy of serving people. It’s even more exciting when you can do it anonymously.
So – here’s some ideas on how a family could turn a ‘Me’ based Christmas into a ‘We’ based Christmas:
- Ask your local ‘Salvation Army’ for the name of a needy family and permission to contact them. Shower that family with love through food, gifts, whatever it is they need.
- On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as a family volunteer at a local soup kitchen so regular volunteers can spend Christmas with their families
- As a family take some baked goods to your neighbor (kind of like a reverse Trick or Treating). This is a good way to meet neighbours also.
- Go on to your local Facebook ‘Yard Sale’ site and volunteer to buy someone a tree who is in need and couldn’t otherwise afford one.
- On that same Facebook ‘Yard Sale’ site offer free gift-wrapping on a particular day leading up to Christmas.
- Offer a free babysitting service to locals so that they can participate in Christmas festivities without having to worry about paying for a sitter.
- Visit shut-ins/widows. There’s nothing better than a senior citizen getting a visit from a family that has no family to be with during the holidays.
- Make a Christmas meal ahead of time for a family that is in need and surprise them with it during dinnertime on Christmaas Eve or Christmas Day.
- Buy a grocery card and as a family anonymously leave it in a mailbox of a family going through a difficult time with a note telling them they’re loved and cared for.
- Use your vehicle to drive people without cars to things they need to do over the holidays, whether it’s shopping or going to spend time with family.
Christmas is a little over a month away! Don’t wait to think through how you can help your family turn from ‘Me’ to ‘We’…start planning NOW!
So those are 10 of my ideas – what about you? What are some ways you would turn Christmas from ‘Me’ to ‘We’?