The Season of Giving

by Dr. Mel Tavares

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 (NIV)

The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas is rooted in the wise men bestowing gifts upon Jesus. For many, the season of giving equates to gift-giving to family, friends, and neighbors. 

Giving during the holidays goes beyond family and friends as community and global organizations provide ways for us to give to those outside of our immediate circle. As Jesus said, it is more blessed to give than receive.

When my children were little, they understood they could not make a wish list until we had gone out and shopped, and each of them had filled a shoebox for recipients worldwide (through Operation Christmas Child). Although my children are no longer in my home, I still start the season of giving by filling shoeboxes. I also buy coats for veterans, serve dinner at the soup kitchen, and write cards for nursing home residents.

Here are some ideas of additional ways to give to those in need:
*Donate to a food pantry
*Buy or make gifts for service providers (e.g., your mail carrier)
*Pay for a stranger’s coffee
*Christmas carol through the neighborhood
*Sign Christmas cards and take them to first responders in your community
*Bring a hot drink to a Salvation Army bell ringer
*Donate new toys or crayons/coloring books to a children’s hospital, or gift cards for parents

Giving goes well beyond gift giving. The holidays are the perfect time of the year to be the hands and feet of Jesus, who set the example for us by giving of himself daily. He fed people, met all types of needs, prayed for strangers, and had compassion toward those in distress.

We live in a time when fewer children and young adults know about Jesus and the reason He came to earth in the form of a baby. Today’s families do not adhere to the traditional values of going to church on Sunday and living a Christian life throughout the week. Therefore, we could take the opportunity to invite unbelievers to special Christmas programs associated with our churches, where they will hear about the best gift of all.

At this time of the year, we could also take advantage of other opportunities: standing in a checkout line, attending a holiday event, or admiring a neighbor’s yard decorations. These all lend themselves to our directing a conversation toward the “reason for the season.” People tend to be more open to accepting what we might offer them during the holiday season, including the good news of Jesus Christ.

This article brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.”  She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.

Join the conversation. Have you found an opportunity to be the hands of Jesus this season?

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