It was a total surprise. I stooped down to check my mailbox cubby at work a few days ago and there was a little card and a Christmas decoration. Immediately I smiled and ripped open the envelope. “Thanks for all your instruction.” No name. Just a sweet little card and a hand made decoration to brighten my holiday season. And my heart was full.
Two aspects about this gesture stood out.
1. It was so simple and inexpensive, yet had the same effect on my spirit that a big gift would.
2. The person stayed anonymous and therefore cared more about the giving than the credit, which made me feel extremely special.
We’re entering the most generous time of the year. We want to serve and give because our hearts are reflecting the love we feel from the season that celebrates Christ’s gift of His presence in the world. Christmas season makes me feel more alive and joyful, so I want to give that feeling away, but so often feel I don’t have the money or ideas of how to do so. But my student’s little gift got me thinking outside the box. (pun intended ha!)
So here’s a few ways we can bring others joy this season without spending a lot.
1.Buy a box of candy canes ($1 at Walmart right ow!) and decorate them like Rudolf or tie a hand written message/Bible verse and give them to your cashier, waitress, anyone who serves you this season. OR be anonymous and put them on co-workers desks.
2.Don’t you love getting mail that’s not a bill?! So do your neighbors:) Get Christmas stationary (mine was $10 for a hundred sheets at Hobby Lobby) and stickers or a stamp. Make homemade Christmas notes with a personalized message for each of your neighbors. You could write 3 reasons you appreciate about your neighbor and choose if you want to sign your name or make it a mystery note.
3. This season is about inviting people in to the best gift of all. God’s love. Be bold and invite someone who may be lonely this season to church, dinner at your house, or a coffee date. You get to be love to others with your invitations. Even if they decline, they know you care.
4. Ding Dong Ditch. If you’re a baker, whip up some of your favorite cookies,(if not, just buy some cheap ones at the store) wrap them up on paper plates and drop them off on random porches. Knock on the door and move to the next house. OR if you’re bold, stay and hand the cookies face to face, and get to know your neighbors better. People are made for community and so many of us are living in isolation. Cookies and a smile go a long way.
5. Connect, Reconnect, and Converse. Make a list of 10 people you love and don’t talk to often. Call, text, Face-time, or get together with one each week for the rest of the year! This costs ZERO dollars and means SO much. It ends your year with people you love, and begins the new year helping you and your people feel connected.
I could go on, but you get the gist. Be creative, be connected, be bold, and be love to those around you in silly and serious ways this season. Have fun being a bearer of joy and care!
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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.
Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk
IT’S HERE! Intentional Holidays is the perfect devotional to keep you focused on Jesus this holiday season. It was so fun to write for this devo with such a talented and grace-filled group of women. We hope this brings you rest and rejoicing through the often chaotic seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Order yours on Amazon asap!
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