We need some extra Christmas cheer this year. 2020 took all of us on a chaotic roller-coaster ride, and many people in our communities are scared, broken, hurting, and hungry. They’re worried about the future. They’ve lost jobs, or even loved ones.
What if we looked at this year as an opportunity to reset how we do things at Christmas? Our neighbors and friends and family are searching for anything that resembles normalcy, and we get to decide to be the kind of people who offer hope. Let’s focus on giving instead of getting.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with buying some nice things and enjoying Christmas festivities. But skipping around the mall with a credit card, or going crazy with online shopping will only ignite a spark of happiness that’s gone by Dec. 26. When we practice generosity, we get to make an impact on someone’s life that can last for years.
Here are a few simple ways you can affect someone’s life this year:
- Share your talents: Use your skills to bless others. If you’re a musician, host an outdoor Christmas concert. If you’re a financial coach, give away free sessions to people in a financial hole.
- Offer to babysit: Childcare is expensive. With more families being forced to homeschool and work from home, you can offer a much-needed break for worn-out parents.
- Provide gifts for children in need: There are children in your community without families, or in low-income situations, who might not get any gifts on Christmas morning. Do something about it!
- Deliver meals on wheels: Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable in our society, and among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Dropping off a meal is an easy way to check up on them and honor them.
- Write letters: A handwritten note is a rare gift these days. There are plenty of services that help coordinate volunteers, who write letters to nursing home residents or members of our military overseas.
- Sponsor a family anonymously: You can be Santa Claus for a friend or a family in need. Take your family shopping, wrap the gifts, and then leave them on someone’s doorstep as a Christmas surprise.
- Donate to a local nonprofit or church: Find an organization that’s doing good work, and support them financially through year-end giving.
This is just the start. If you brainstorm creative ways to be generous this year, I think you’ll start to get excited about how much fun this can be. In a world that needs hope, don’t wait around for someone else to step up to the plate.
It’s up to you and me to set an example worth following!
Chris Hogan is a financial expert, host of The Chris Hogan Show, and a best-selling author, including “Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—And How You Can Too.” Follow Chris at ChrisHogan360.com and on Twitter @ChrisHogan360.