What’s on your Christmas list?

It’s that time of year… Christmas shopping. Whether your kids still wait up late for Santa or you’re working over the holiday this year, Christmas is a time when our culture and community thinks about gifts, presents, and what special things we can share with those we love.

It is easy to identify things we want – fun gadgets, fancy vacations, or exciting toys. It is often easy to also identify things we need – warm socks, new clothes, or gift cards to the grocery store. But is there room on your Christmas list for items that will change the world? Have you thought yet about how your shopping list can help people you’ve never met, but who need love and compassion?

Whether you’ve finished your Christmas shopping or you’re waiting until the last minute, consider these questions during the holiday season, and add some things to your list that could change the world.

  • What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, there is undoubtedly a cause or a nonprofit out there supporting that area. You may be passionate about caring for animals, helping children, or giving to “the least of these” at a local food bank or homeless shelter. Take time to pray for those areas of need, to get connected with a ministry or group that addresses that area, and get involved. It doesn’t have to require money to take action in areas you are passionate about.
  • Are you spending your resources in ways that bring joy, peace, and justice to the world around you? Your time, money, energy, and emotions can be spent wisely or foolishly, and it is easy during the Christmas season to find yourself distracted or shopping impulsively. Try to identify the pros and cons of how you are spending the resources God has given you, and identify how you can strengthen that during the holiday season and throughout 2018.
  • What memories are you investing in this Christmas? The holidays are a time that is filled with emotion… good or bad. But don’t let the memories of past holidays decide how you will spend this holiday. Invest in activities, people, events, and opportunities that will give you wonderful memories for the future.
  • Who are you giving to this Christmas? Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to spend time and perhaps share gifts with people in your family and people whom you love. But we all know that there are many people in our community who won’t be able to enjoy a holiday meal, give gifts to their children, or see their loved ones for Christmas. Add something to your Christmas list to help these people. Sending letters to military members overseas, giving gifts to Toys for Tots or the Angel Tree, or volunteering at a shelter to help others are all simply ways to give to others this Christmas.