I hope you’ve enjoyed the Simplifying and Serving During the Christmas Season series! The last thing I want to share about is our family’s desire to cultivate a servant’s heart, especially around this time of the year. We have been very blessed, and serving others goes a long way in encouraging a grateful spirit in our children.
However, it seems like November and December usually turn into two months of running around and being busy with the focus mostly on ourselves. Because our family has made it our purpose this year to think a lot about what Christmas really means to us, revamp our Christmas budget, figure out what we want to make time for and earned some extra cash for the holidays, we’re now able to set aside more money and time to help those around us.
Serving others is just a small representation of what Christ did for us: came “in the fullness of time” to provide for our great spiritual need for a Savior.
This year, I honestly have had to say no to several events that I would have liked to attend in order to make time for doing some Jesus-focused Advent activities with my kids and setting aside time to contribute to the needs of others. I’d encourage you to do the same!
You don’t have to attend every holiday party or open house or program. Instead, pick two or three that are important and increase your togetherness as a family. You don’t need to spend hours shopping on Black Friday if it just stresses you out. Instead, set aside a (relatively short) block of time to do online shopping. You can earn cash back on your purchases and avoid the temptation to buy more than you need by looking at every good deal on store shelves. I’m sure you can think of certain activities that eat up your time. Let them go! Everybody’s Christmas doesn’t have to be your Christmas.
With this new-found time, we as a family are looking through the Samaritan’s Purse holiday catalog so our two older children can decide what to “purchase”: some baby chicks, enough food for a child for a month, mosquito nets to prevent malaria in developing countries or another gift. We are packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child with our youth group this Sunday night (Sunday is the deadline if you want to pack a box and find a drop-off location). In the future, once our kids are older, we’d like to serve a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal at our local rescue mission.
If this type of servant-hood is your desire, prayerfully consider at least two ways you can bless others this Christmas season and then purposefully find an afternoon or evening when you can fit this service opportunity into your schedule. Even better, involve your family, friends and church! You can find some great ideas from others on our Facebook post from yesterday!
With the Lord’s help, we can learn to simplify what is otherwise a crazy season, take the focus off of ourselves and enjoy time with our families, as well as find opportunities to serve others in the name of Jesus.