Category Archives: service

A Christ-Centered Christmas – Joseph

I’ve fallen off-track with my posts about the different sections in A Christ-Centered Christmas.  The next section is about Joseph.  To me, Joseph is an example of service.  He didn’t have a lot of money and means to provide for his wife.  Their journey to Bethlehem probably wasn’t easily affordable.  He couldn’t afford to rent affordable accommodations for Mary.

There’s another book I like that goes along with Joseph and remembering that allowing others to serve you is just as important as the need to serve others. 

This story is a fictional account of Hannah, the innkeeper’s wife that acted as midwife to help Mary during her delivery.  I think it’s a very touching story of service.

I contemplated service on Saturday as Mr. Adventure and I volunteered for a shift as bell ringers for the Salvation Army.  I’ve tried to earnestly look for opportunities to serve over the past year or so.  Plus, I’ve tried to include my children in my desires to give to others to help instill that spirit of service in them.

Have you done anything service-oriented this holiday season?  What’s the best service you’ve given or received recently?

Tuesday 10 – Random Acts of Kindness

Today I’m co-hosting Tuesday 10 with the lovely Lena from Lena B, Actually.  I suggested this week’s topic of Random Acts of Kindness.  This is only a prompt.  Any and every list is welcome.

LenaBActually

November and December always get me thinking about serving others.  I try to find ways to serve and help my children learn to give of themselves thoughout the year, but I’m especially conscious of it during the holiday season.  So, here’s 10 kindnesses that I’ve been the recipient of, that I’ve given, or that I’d like to do.

Free babysitting
This falls under all three of my categories.  There was a time in our lives when hubby was working out of town, coming home every other weekend, and we had 4 little ones 6 and under.  Two teenage girls from church offered to watch the kids for a few hours each week so I could get out of the house by myself to go grocery shopping, watch the ducks at the park, see a movie, whatever.  I found myself looking forward to those days to keep myself sane.

Ring a bell
I’ve always thought it would be fun to do a shift ringing a bell with my kids.  I’m planning to start this tradition this year!

Pay at the drive-thru
This is another one that I’d love to do.  Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru.

Christmas Jar
This is one of my favorite Christmas books and a favorite tradition.  We keep a jar on the kitchen counter and collect change throughout the year.  Sometime during the week preceding Christmas we secretly deliver the jar to someone in need.

AnySoldier.com
Last year we discovered the program at anysoldier.com.  You mail letters or care packages to a serviceman or woman that has volunteered with the program to distribute these to members of their unit that don’t often receive mail.  We opted to send as much beef jerky as we could cram into a box, as well as a few Christmas cards.  We never heard back from any recipients, but I’d like to think we made their day a little brighter.

Christmas Caroling
What is the Christmas season without caroling?  When I was growing up, my aunts used to take us around to our neighbors on Christmas Eve (probably to give Santa some gift-wrapping time).  We’d be all bundled up and sing a couple of songs before moving on to the next house.  Finish it off with some hot cocoa and you have a perfect service.

Volunteer
There are so many volunteer opportunities in any community.  Find one and give a few hours of yourself.  Maybe you serve food at a homeless shelter, help at an animal shelter, or read to kids at a local elementary school.  Even just picking up trash at a local park is a great service.

Tape Quarters to a Gumball or Vending Machine
Who wouldn’t love to find a random surprise?

Smile
Anywhere you go, there’s probably someone that could use a little cheering up.  A happy face can turn someone’s day around.

Say Thank You to a Teacher
Teachers invest so much for their students.  Letting them know they are appreciated makes their day.  A simple note or a treat or a gift card or whatever.  I truly believe this is an instance of “it’s the thought that counts.”

What other great ideas do you have?  I’d love to see them!

Saying Thank You

You’ve probably seen the “Month of Gratitude” challenge on Facebook, where everyone is encouraged to post things they’re thankful for each day.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great idea, but I’ve never been diligent enough to carry it out for more than just a day or two.  I do try to count my blessings during November as well as instilling a sense of gratitude in my children.

Still, as the days of October were dwindling to a close, I found myself looking forward to November (mostly for the less-busy calendar squares that are quickly being filled now that they’re visible).  I decided that while it’s great to feel a personal sense of gratitude, I wanted to take things a step further and express my gratitude to people that have given me their support in one way or another.

I had a brainstorm that in addition to just thinking about something or someone I am grateful for, I’d like to send a thank you note to that person so they know I appreciate them.  It’s a little way to reach outside myself.  So, my plan is to bring a bit of happiness and a spirit of Thanksgiving to mailboxes around the country this month.  Who’s with me?