Tis the season to be jolly! Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Or is it the season to be busy? Overwhelmed? Overcommitted? Is it the season for celebrating “God with us,” or complaining about others with us in line at the grocery store and the post office? Planning luncheons and brunches and fancy Christmas dinners with keynotes and centerpieces takes a lot out of a gal, even with a team of elves to help.
Christmas is hard because we make it hard.
There are 23 days until Christmas. In 24 days, those too-big, too-small and not-what-I-really-wanted gifts you spent hours shopping for will be piled unceremoniously in the trunk of your car. Recipes you craved for months will be unappetizing leftovers, and if you eat one more cookie even your yoga pants will be too tight.
It’s not too late to have a Merry Christmas!
Over the next three weeks, you can celebrate Christmas in a whole new way — and it won’t be weird! All you have to do is set aside the time you’d spend watching one Christmas movie (you already know how it will end!) or making one trip to the mall, and use that time to do something special with a neighbor.
Here are five ways you can love your neighbors at Christmas:
- Invite a neighbor to your home for dessert. Serve store-bought pie and instant hot cocoa for an impromptu yet tasty gift of hospitality.
- Deliver a Christmas card in person. Many homes on your street won’t receive cards or callers this Christmas. Brighten their day with a heartfelt message delivered face-to-face.
- Make Christmas bright. Have a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony. Approach a neighbor with a prominent tree and ask if you can decorate it with and for the neighborhood, then pass out invitations to help.
- Help a neighbor in need. There is someone in your neighborhood who needs a little extra help this season with their shopping or shipping, decorating or cooking, shoveling or scraping their car.
- Host a Christmas Open House. Invite several families to your home for carols, sweet treats and the gift of knowing your neighbors. Everything you need to get started is right here – including invitations and a craft to do together.
Imagine how your women’s ministry will be different in 2016 if you and the women you lead cross something off your calendar this Christmas and spend that time with a neighbor. Natural relationships will lead to spiritual conversations. Friendships that begin at the kitchen table will grow deeper in the pews. Spiritual gifts will be offered in the streets, and the angels will sing just like they did for that tiny babe in a manger.
None of these ideas are expensive, but they will be costly. Loving our neighbor costs us time. It costs energy, it costs courage as we overcome our fears and knock on their door in faith. But the reward? It is priceless.
Merry Christmas to you and your neighbors!
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