Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 Ways to Serve Over Christmas

One of my favorite ways to spend Christmas break is by finding ways to serve others. I'm a big fan of "warm fuzzies"—which is exactly what I get when I reach out of my comfort zone to serve somebody. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve others over Christmas:

Carol at a senior center: Hardly anything in life can bring warmth into the heart better than Christmas carols. Winter blizzards become winter wonderlands, jolly old men jump out sleighs to bring gifts to children, and a babe's birth is celebrated. There's something that's just plain happy about the whole thing.

Secret Santa: Hold a gift exchange with your friends or family. Write down everybody's names, cut them out, and toss them into a hat. If somebody grabs their own name, you'll have to start over! This can be a great excuse to get to know others and find out what their interests are.

Food drive: I can almost guarantee you that somebody somewhere is holding a food drive. Donate some good food for once. If you can't find a food drive going on (and if you're feeling really ambitious), maybe you could organize one in your neighborhood.

Shovel a neighbor's driveway: I love snow! At least, I love snow when I'm looking at it through the window. One of the nicest things you could do for the old lady that lives next door is to shovel her driveway—without accepting pay. If she wants to give you some cookies or hot cocoa, that's totally fine. But nothing with the face of a US president on it!

Sub for Santa: One of the best ways to serve over Christmas is by giving Christmas away. There are many families that don't have the means necessary to provide their kids with gifts. Sub for Santa programs across the country provide opportunities to give gifts to kids.

Hit-and-run Christmas Cookies: This one is quite simple. 1) Bake cookies. 2) Put a dozen or so on a plate and wrap the plate in plastic. 3) Make a card that says something like, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Don't put your name anywhere on the card. 4) Leave the cookies on a doorstep, ring the bell, and run!

LISTEN: One of the best things you can do for someone is to listen. People come packed with a variety of problems and very few people to listen to them. Listening takes patience but can be the best gift you can give another!

Volunteer at a charity: The demand on charity organizations is generally high; the volunteer service is often low. If you enjoy it enough, you could even try to make it a weekly tradition to visit your favorite charity group and give an hour of service.

Donate to a thrift store: That old dresser that you don't use anymore may make the perfect gift for a poor husband to his wife, or for a Christmas newborn. Your trash may become the next man's treasure!

Bring food to the office: Bake some homemade doughnuts, brownies, or cookies and bring them in for all to enjoy! You could also bring some soda in or get some goodies at a grocery store. There's nothing like food to provide a good winter pick-me-up.

About the Author
Stephen Sharpe is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if going to school online is right for them and helps them find out which online degrees and top jobs they can choose from to land the job of their dreams.

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