Did you ever consider that Aunt Melba’s Christmas cookies could be a way to help you say “Jesus loves you” this time of year? For many, the holidays are a time of joy, but for others it’s a time of intense need. We want to share seven ways you can spread some cheer in your home while blessing others.
1. Surprise your neighbor with a batch of homemade cookies.
Homemade Christmas cookies can be a great way to strike up a conversation with neighbors you may not know very well. Building relationships with neighbors can lead to opportunities to share about the hope you have this Christmas (and every Christmas). Aunt Melba’s recipe for Christmas cookies is provided here as a fun activity for kids, grandkids, or church groups.
2. Clean out your closets and donate clothes.
Many of us have extra clothes that hang unused in our closet for most of the year. Those clothes can be gift to people both close to home and around the world. Take some time this season to gather extra clothes from your closet, identify a good charity that accepts donations of clothes in your area, and drop off the clothes.
3. Pray for refugees.
While most of us gather with our families this Christmas, many refugees are far from home, displaced in camps throughout the Middle East. This is a sobering thought. Much of the time, they have faced tragedy through the loss of friends and loved ones. Take time with your family to pray for refugees. Pray they will receive aid and comfort and experience God’s love in some way. Learn more here, how GAiN meets critical needs for victims of conflict, disaster, famine, and epidemics throughout the world by providing food, water, shelter, and medicine — all in the name of Jesus.
4. Assemble winter kits for people in need.
The world is full of people unable to make ends meet. Parents might struggle to feed their family. Others may have nowhere to live. These scenarios happen throughout the year, and sometimes those in need express it by holding a cardboard sign or asking for help as we walk by. As you do your regular shopping, pick up a few items for winter kits that you can keep in your car for such encounters. Assemble items like those in the list below and tuck them into a reusable shopping bag or gallon freezer bag:
Gift card to a fast-food restaurant
A note of encouragement
5. Deliver greeting cards to the residents of a senior center.
Festivities abound during the holiday season. However, elderly folks living in senior centers frequently miss out on holiday gatherings. Seniors, especially those with few family members close by, love visitors. Cards containing encouraging messages given to residents provide a special treat—and if you add a drawing from a budding young artist, that’s even better!
6. Volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen.
According to Feeding America, 42 million people face the threat of hunger daily in the United States. One in five children go hungry every month. Hunger affects how people perform at work and how children perform in school. A couple hours sorting food at a local food pantry or serving meals at a soup kitchen can mean so much to hungry hearts. You’ll be surprised how rewarding those few hours can be!
7. Make hot cocoa or apple cider, gather your family, and read the Christmas story.
You don’t need chestnuts roasting over an open fire—just a warm drink, a Bible, and your family or friends. Matthew 1:18–2:12 is a good place to start. Luke 1-2 is another side to the story of the birth of Jesus.
Joining together to brighten someone’s day blesses both the giver and the receiver. Enjoy your time spreading joy to people around you! And if you want to expand your reach, we can help you share the kindness of Jesus to people living in tough places in the world!
© Jason Cress
As the humanitarian partner of Cru, Global Aid Network (GAiN) expresses the love of Jesus Christ in the toughest places on earth by relieving suffering, restoring dignity, and revealing hope. We accomplish our mission, in partnership with international Cru ministries, through food and agriculture, clean water, and critical aid. Our partners at Cru work in more than 191 countries in the world.
On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.