By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Relationships.
The idea of giving and receiving gifts, as well as decorating homes, attending parties, and spending time with loved ones, brings a smile to many faces.
Yet for many, the Christmas season can be stressful.
There are people throughout the world who are facing issues such as unemployment, debt, homelessness, and other troubling circumstances.
However one may view Christmas, it is important to focus not on the commercial aspect of this day, but
its true meaning, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ’s purpose was to “enter into the world and become one of us, so that we may be delivered.” (1)
In John 3:16-17, the birth of Jesus Christ is explained as "For God so loved the world, that God gave God’s only begotten Son, that whoever believes in God shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Jesus.” (1)
Over the upcoming weeks, choose to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and how you can make a difference for those who need it the most.
Here are ten ways to support others during the Christmas season.
Give blood – Did you know that a pint of blood can save up to three lives? Local blood centers and hospitals are often in need of blood and donating is an easy thing to do.
Volunteer – The simple act of volunteering your time and efforts during the Christmas season can make a big difference for those in need. Two places that you can volunteer at during the Christmas season are your local homeless shelter and soup kitchen.
Send care packages to military – The brave women and men who are serving our country overseas are often overlooked during the Christmas season. Many organizations distribute care packages to deployed troops and sending a festive care package will help bring them Christmas cheer.
Donate – If you do not have the time to volunteer during the Christmas season, you can donate money, food, or clothes to local organizations or families. Even a small donation can help make the Christmas season a little less stressful for those in need.
Invite others to Christmas celebrations – More people than you know end up spending Christmas alone. Whether they are not able to or want to see their loved ones, extending an invitation to a friend or neighbor who is alone during Christmas can make a substantial difference.
Pay it forward – Next time you are at the coffee shop, consider paying for a random person’s drink. You might never get to speak to them or get to hear them express their gratitude, but you’ll know that your simple act of kindness make somebody’s day a bit brighter.
Babysit – Childcare can be expensive and during the Christmas season it seems that parents never have enough time to get their errands done. You can make someone’s Christmas season a bit easier by offering to babysit so they can run their errands or attend events without having to worry about childcare.
Decorate – Whether it’s a loved one or a neighbor, everyone can use a bit of extra help at times with putting up their Christmas decorations. Why not spend an hour or two helping someone put together their Christmas tree with ornaments or string bright lights around their home.
Fundraise – Charity organizations often make the biggest difference for those in need during the Christmas season while having a limited budget. Raising money online or at local venues for these organizations are a great way to help them.
Listen – Sometimes it’s the people closest to you that struggle the most during the Christmas season. Whether it’s a loved one, friend, or colleague, you can help them by just sitting back and listening to anything that they need to talk about.