Today I went shopping, not an unusual thing for me! However what was unusual was what I saw……..Christmas displays already in many stores! Yes it is getting close to that time of year again!
I don’t know about you but I find that I have to proactively work against getting caught up in this busy, crazy time of year. People are rushing, shops are busy, families are fraught about what to give each other, not to mention stressed about how to visit all the people who are expecting them to visit!
I try really hard to take time to step back from all of this (not always easy to do!) and remind myself what the season is truly about. We are celebrating God’s gift to all mankind – his son Jesus. I also think it is an ideal opportunity to encourage small groups to step back and consider creative ways their group could embrace God’s theme of ‘giving’ – to choose a mission project where together they can ‘bless’ the lives of others.
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Here are a few ideas to get you thinking -BUT I am sure you can add to the list!
- Offer to do some gardening at a local school, community centre or for an elderly person who lives in the street your group meets in
- Collect food and gifts and make several hampers to be donated to local families in your community or a nearby homeless shelter
- Organize a shopping trip or morning tea for elderly neighbors
- Contact a local nursing home and offer to visit and participate in some carol singing for the residents
- Donate blood, those in the group who are able to can give blood, others may take on a different role; driver, support, organise food and drink for afterwards
- Run a lunchtime Christmas craft activity for students at your local school
- Arrange for your group to serve on a soup kitchen roster or at a community meal centre
- Run a car boot sale and give the proceeds to a local charity
- Provide a special Christmas themed morning tea for the teachers in the local school
- Take a small gift such as chocolates or bookmarks as a thank you to local shop owners, library staff or local council staff
- Send some holiday cheer to the troops. A care package filled with holiday goodies or send a small Christmas tree, your generous gift will make their holidays a little bit brighter
- Host a coffee and desert night in the neighbourhood your group meets in
- Do a food or coat drive (if Christmas is celebrated in winter) and invite those in your neighbourhood to get involved
- Set aside a small group night to write letters of appreciation to people you truly appreciate. Think about the postal service workers, maintenance workers and even your favourite barista!
Would love to hear what you might add to the list!
I would just like to add that I personally think it is important to communicate to those receiving the gift why your group is giving. Eg: We are a small group from (your church name/website) who meets in the geographic area and we want to give back and bless our community during the Christmas season.