Christmas can be a joyful time filled with friends and family. It can also be a stressful season with full calendars and busy workloads. For some of us, the holidays are a time of grief, loneliness, and longing for the way things used to be (or hoping for something that hasn't yet happened). We know people who are experiencing all of these situations, and we have the opportunity to show God's love this Christmas.
As Christians, we believe that our lives are a living example of God's love. After all, God has changed our story dramatically by saving us! Our lives have been radically changed from being lost in the world to being found in Him. God has placed us where we are for a reason. Considering the neighbors we have, the co-workers we work with, the other parents at our kids' school, could it be that God has led us to where we are for a purpose? Where God has us is exactly where we can share His love and hope, and the perfect time to extend God's love to others is during the holidays.
Below are some ways to show God's love to others this Christmas no matter what they may be going through. These simple gestures may open the door for a closer relationship, show you additional ways to love them, and provide opportunities for future conversations about your faith and how Jesus has changed your story.
Related Post: 5 Simple Ways to Show God's Love to Others
Simple Christmas Gifts to Show God's Love to Neighbors and Co-Workers
Spend some time brainstorming the people in your life who you would like to bless. We all have people in our lives who we are familiar with, but not really close to. How can you grow your relationship with them through blessing them? Bring them some homemade (or store bought!) treats or a simple gift.
Find a great list of Christmas gift ideas here. These are presents you can give to neighbors, co-workers, teachers, coaches as a way to say Merry Christmas. Include a quick note of thanks or share that you thank God they are a part of your life.
This simple gestures can go a long way to opening up future opportunities to bless them and extend love and hope.
Share God's Love Through a Handwritten Christmas Card
In an age full of texts and emails, getting "real" mail is special. Think of who you may want to surprise with a handwritten card this Christmas. If you already send out Christmas cards, consider spending a little extra time to hand write a short message on the card for people.
A handwritten card is a great way to show someone that you are thinking of them, and you invested even a short period of time to show them love and gratitude.
Show God's Love at Christmas to the Grieving or Lonely
The holidays are not festive for everyone. Christmas can be lonely and painful for those who are grieving.
Take a moment and make a list of people you know who:
- Lost a loved one
- Moved away from family
- Experienced divorce
- Has a deployed family member
- Cannot be with family this Christmas
Reach out to them and see how they're doing. Let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them over the holidays. And, based on your conversation, see what needs they may have and offer to meet those needs. If appropriate, invite them to your celebrations or spend some other time with them. Be a comforting, listening ear and meet them wherever they are in their grief.
Show God's Love With a Thank You Gift
I don't know about you, but our Amazon delivery people have been really busy the last few Christmases! Mail carriers, landscapers, and other service professionals love to know they are appreciated. There are some limitations when it comes to gifts for mail carriers, but simple things like food, beverages, or homemade treats go a long way to say "thank you."
One of the most-liked Christmas gifts for delivery people is homemade art from children! If you have young kids, this is a great way to include them in showing God's love to those around you over the Holidays. These small acts of kindness show others they are seen, recognized, and appreciated.
Show God's Love to a Distant Friend or Relative
Many of us have family or friends that we've lost touch with over time. Maybe we've moved away, left a job, had an argument, or simply drifted apart. The holidays can be an easier time to reach out and reconnect with someone who has been distant physically or relationally.
Whether it's a phone call, hand-written card, text, or email, reaching out to someone you've lost contact with is an opportunity to make the recipient feel special. You remembered them! You took the time to let them know you were thinking of them! That could be a priceless gift for a distant relationship in your life.
Related Post: 21 Ways to Show God's Love From A Distance
Pray for Others You Will Encounter Over the Holidays
Over the holiday season, more people are out in the public. We're attending holiday work parties, school concerts, community events, and Christmas shopping. We tend to encounter more people over the holidays than throughout the rest of the year. Get in the habit of starting your day with a simple prayer:
"Lord, help me love others well today and point them to You."
This simple prayer opens our heart to our great calling in life -- to do good deeds and glorify God.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
Christmas is a great time to have conversations about Jesus and what He has done in your life. Think about it: When is there any other time in the year when everyone's listening to music about Jesus? It's playing in stores, on the radio, and at concerts. Most people are already listening to the story of Jesus in their day-to-day lives! Songs are filled with lyrics about Jesus changing the world. His presence changes everything. Take this opportunity to share how Jesus has changed your story.
Related Post: 5 Simple Steps to Share Your Faith Story