Here are 30 thoughtful ways to show kindness, service and hospitality this Christmas, so that we don’t overprioritize temporal things.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the commercial holiday season, Christmas has nothing to do with the coolest toys, latest gadgets or other tangible things. It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of aisles at the store, searching for the perfect gift for someone you care about. I would know—I’ve done it, too.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus by giving tangible gifts to each other, but what if we shifted our idea of gifts. The Wiseman offered tangible gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but they offered them to the King after pursuing Him and falling at His feet.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.Matthew 2:10-11 ESV
So what do we have to offer at the foot of the King?
The latest toys, gadgets and electronic devices aren’t the answer. Instead, we have to shift our focus of Christmas to seeking what would truly please Christ most.
After our complete devotion to God, our next best offering is to love others.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’Matthew 22:36-39 NIV
So this Christmas, what if we prioritized giving acts of kindness, service and hospitality to others over temporal gifts?
What if we set the example for our kids and grandkids, neighbors, strangers and even our church congregation?
By gifting acts of kindness, not only could we afford to give more, but we could also give to more people. And as Christians, spreading kindness and showing hospitality to others is a critical way to sow the seeds of faith as we follow the example set by Jesus.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV)
30 Acts of Kindness to Give This Christmas
- Offer to decorate someone’s home for Christmas who is unable to do it themselves.
- Deliver a cup of hot coffee to a weary mom, busy school teacher or stressed coworker.
- Donate gently used toys to local non-profits.
- Make charitable donations in a family member’s honor in lieu of gifts.
- Deliver a Christmas meal to a family in need (financially, emotionally or physically).
- Open your home to those with no family on Christmas Day.
- Deliver homemade cookies door to door in your neighborhood.
- Pay it forward when you go through a drive thru.
- Write Christmas notes for public service and medical employees who will be working on Christmas day.
- Gift a pick-me-up bundle (thank you note, Gatorade, energy bar, etc.) to your mailman and UPS driver.
- Take care of a neighbor’s pet while they are traveling for the holidays.
- Offer to babysit a neighbor’s, friend’s or fellow church member’s kids one afternoon or evening.
- Donate non-perishable items to a local food bank.
- Take care of a neighbor’s lawn over the holidays. Rake the leaves, blow off the driveway, etc.
- Gift your old Bibles to a nearby homeless shelter.
- Help shovel your neighbor’s driveway if you live in a snowy climate.
- Deliver handmade kid-drawn Christmas cards to your local nursing home.
- Make a care package for someone who may be lonely or grieving over the holidays. (e.g. tea bags, mug, small cookies)
- Tape kindness quotes or encouraging Bible verses inside public restrooms.
- Christmas carol around your neighborhood or at a local nursing home.
- Volunteer to serve a meal at your church, soup kitchen, food bank—or deliver Meals on Wheels locally.
- Drop off hot cocoa or a portable box of coffee to a team of construction workers out in the cold.
- Adopt a family for Christmas through your church.
- Strike up a friendly conversation with a random stranger you meet.
- Leave an extra unexpected tip at the next restaurant you visit.
- Pick up groceries for someone with limited mobility or a limited budget.
- Drop off a poinsettia on the doorstep of someone who is struggling with grief this season.
- Be a “Secret Santa” for a family in need, anonymously dropping off coats, boots and other essential winter items.
- Write Christmas letters to deployed soldiers thanking them for their service and wishing them a Merry Christmas.
- Pick up trash as a family at your local park.
What are your favorite ways to show kindness and hospitality to others during the Christmas season?
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