Christ in Christmas- Part 3
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Keeping CHRIST in Christmas- Part 3
How to keep Christ in Christmas this holiday season
By Kim Costello
For many of us, the holidays are an exciting time of hustle and bustle as well as a time to connect with family and friends. However, for some, the Christmas season has a way of making life feel lonelier and sadder. There are some people who go into the holiday season not wanting to put up a tree, wrap presents, or listen to Christmas carols. Sometimes the holidays bring out painful emotions and there are days throughout the season where some individuals may want to just cry and be alone. Perhaps you personally know someone who has experienced a loss or is celebrating the holiday alone. Maybe you know of individuals who are in a nursing home, or a family that has limited resources and are unable provide gifts to their children or a special meal on Christmas Day. Our Fearless Five Family wanted to share some suggestions with you on how you can personally make the holidays fearlessly fantastic for those who are not excited about the holidays.
- Pick one or more families that you know are struggling during the expensive Christmas season and pray about ways to make their holiday special. Could you purchase them a turkey or a ham? Could you drop off gifts at their door? Could you anonymously send them a check? Several years ago, my husband and I made a quick run into Walmart to send our daughter some money. Their quest service window was next to the lay away department. Next to us was a husband and wife, who kept whispering back and forth about which toys they could afford for their children and which toys they had to put back. My husband and I told the gentleman at guest services that we wanted to pay for that families’ gifts discreetly. It brought my husband and I so much joy to know that a family was going to be blessed on Christmas Day by seeing their children open toys.
- A few weeks before the holidays are a great time to clean out the closets and playrooms and give to the local donation centers. There are so many foster families that could use toys and books. There are others that could benefit from clothing and items of necessity. It is cathartic to clean and give and knowing that these items will be going to someone who is in need is a wonderful feeling. This year Franco and I donated a lot of my clothing to the Alpha House, a residential program that offers a safe and educational environment for new moms and their babies. Their goal is to provide life lessons that can transform a family of two from a displaced situation to a world of self-sufficiency. Can you think of an organization you would like to donate to?
- Can you and your family identify people in your life that you have not thanked through the years that may be feeling under-appreciated? This holiday season, your family can put on Christmas music, sit in a room with decorated holiday lights and take the time to write heart-felt notes of thanks and mail them. Gratitude warms the heart and the holiday season is the perfect time to take the time to bless those who have blessed you. This is also a great skill set to teach your children, that in a world run by technology, receiving a letter by snail mail can still bring a smile.
“… how you can personally make the holidays fearlessly fantastic for those who are not excited about the holidays.”
- Visit a local nursing home. Many elderly people in nursing homes will not have any family or friends visiting them especially during the holiday season. One year, we went to the dollar store and found the reindeer ear headbands and big bells and tied them around our necks with red ribbon and then we decorated our grandchildren and us up and we passed out little goodie bags as we sang Christmas songs throughout the facility. I can still see their smiles, and happy tears knowing that they were remembered.
- Give a gift that blesses others. The Fearless Five, a team that is compelled to combine their unique talents to empower others into a life of passion, rooted in Christ Jesus, is accepting donations so that we continue to help those that serve others. This can be a great opportunity for you to honor a loved one. Perhaps you can think of someone you can make a donation in honor of? This donation would not only impact you but many others.
- People like my daughter Ashlee who didn’t go home for the holidays, but also did not know many people, really appreciated when someone remembered her and invited her to join in the festivities. Does anyone come to mind that you can ask to come over and spend the holidays with you and your family?
- When people think of donations, they first think of money or tangible items. But often what is truly needed is time. Outside of giving of your finances, you can choose to go out and volunteer or serve by contacting local organizations and asking how you can get involved and be of assistance this holiday season. You can even talk to your children about ways to give back in your community. It could surprise you what great ideas they can come up with that you and your family can do together, for others.
- Another option is to help teach kids about the real meaning of the season. How can they fearlessly bring Jesus into their home this holiday season?
We, the Family of the Fearless Five challenge you to make the holidays fearlessly fantastic for others: What will make this the best Christmas season ever for you? We would love for you to share your ideas with us so that others can use your suggestions.