Pack extra egg nog for a more extensive Christmas caroling route this year. Think about the people who find this time of year especially lonely and consider visiting them. Contact elderly homes, cancer hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and grab your friends and family for a visit. Even if you can’t hold a tune, the gift of song is such a simple way to remind people they are not forgotten, they are loved, and they matter.
Can you afford to add more to your Christmas list this year? Christmas is a great time of year to support charities that are working to make sure everyone has a blessed Christmas, especially those less fortunate. Consider adding an extra Christmas ham, winter jacket, or toy truck to your Christmas list and donating the extra. Contact organizations in your area and ask how you can most help them help others. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started: St. Vincent de Paul, American Red Cross, Covenant House, Catholic Charities,
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the materialism frenzy of the season when perpetual ads have visions of Apple watches and yoga mats dancing in your head. And sure, buy your loved ones those things to show that you care, but start incorporating gifts that have an impact on more than just the receiver. There are lots of ways: give a goat or flock of chicks to a family in another country trying to feed their family or start a business. Buy prenatal care for women in third world nations. Or support women who have survived the sex trade by purchasing their incredible handmade products. There are no shortage of organizations doing work like this, here are just a few more to peruse: 31bits, evermaya, everything happy, bears for humanity.
The Christmas season is a time of joy and elation for so many people, but can be an especially difficult time for someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. Think about those people in your neighborhood, church, school, etc. who may be feeling the pain of loss during this season. Take them out for a gingerbread latte, invite them over for a Christmas movie night, be extra attentive to their loneliness and needs. Let them know they are not alone, and that you are there to help them through the holidays.
Bring your Christmas cheer to the streets by starting a new Christmas baking tradition with your family and friends. Double your recipes this year and make cookies for homeless. Then pack shoeboxes with warm socks, gloves, oranges, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc, any odds and ends that we may take for granted. Wrap them up and bring Christmas to the homeless with your family. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is just a warm smile and a listening ear.
When you send out your Christmas cards this year consider sending some to those who may not be in the holiday spirit. Send letters to people who may not get to see their families this year: soldiers overseas or prisoners.
When we come together on January 21, we’re not just getting together to have a good time (though we definitely will have that too.) We’re making a statement that needs to be heard. We are speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. We are rising up in defense of those who have been left defenseless. We are standing beside those who have been made to feel that their life is anything less than a beautiful gift from God. This is a message the world needs to hear. With your help our message can spread and grow and more people can see what a true celebration of life is at OneLife LA. Register. Invite your friends. And get ready to change lives.