Giving financially is certainly one way to be others-minded this time of year and always, but we already covered that in the 3 M’s of a Merry Christmas and Set a Budget for a Meaningful, Manageable & Memorable Christmas. Today’s tip isn’t about money, but time and touch. I especially need to stop and consider this tip, because money is a lot easier for me to give than my time.
Tip Eight: Consider Others
I can get laser focused on my own family, my lists and our activities, that I miss others. Not others in the sense of a corny alien flick, but others in the sense of those on the fringes. The ones who fly under the radar. Those who have needs every day of the year, but they’re magnified during the holidays. Those who have special needs because they’ve fallen on hard times. Those who are sick and home- or bed-ridden. Those whose families are far. Those who may not say a word or ask for a single thing, but whose needs make them feel alone.
Sometimes, only the Lord knows their need. If we’re not making time for Him and allowing room for Him to interrupt us, will we even know when He’s trying to put someone in need on our hearts? Those who need human touch and face time (not of the iPhone variety, but good old-fashioned face-to-face contact – a visit, an invitation, a meal. Some sort of indication that they’re noticed and remembered.
Who do you know who needs someone to reach out to them for the holidays? Let’s ask the Lord to show us this person – the very person He has for us to consider. And when He shows us who that person is, let’s be ready follow His lead as He lets us know what they need.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t always have to mean finding extra time; sometimes it’s just a matter of including someone else in what you’re already doing. If the Lord puts someone on your mind and heart and you can’t see how you’re going to find the time to reach out to them, invite them to do something alongside you.
Years ago, we started celebrating Thanksgiving with another family that doesn’t have any extended family in town. Now, almost every year since then, it’s been our tradition to share Thanksgiving as families. It is an “others minded” way to include another family in what we’re already doing. Some years, the Lord has prompted us to include someone else in our Nutcracker tradition. Again, it’s something we were already doing; we just brought someone else along with us. Fellowship while you run errands. Shop together. Bake together. Multiply your time every way possible, including in considering others!
At the same time, be willing to make time, even if it’s inconvenient, for it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
Speaking of gifts, the ten days or tips are quickly coming to a close! Being the list-loving fool that I am, I can’t wait to share Tip Nine: Make a List for a Meaningful, Manageable & Memorable Christmas. Same place tomorrow. Will you join me? And tell a friend!
This series of tips is filling in the framework of The 3 M’s of a Merry Christmas. If you’ve missed a few tips along the way, you’ll find all ten here: 10 Tips for Making Christmas Meaningful, Manageable & Memorable.