2 Corinthians 9:6-8
"Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed."
During the holiday rush, it's easy to get caught up and extremely stressed out in the buying and giving of expensive gifts to family, friends, and co-workers.
If there's one thing that the retail industry would have us believe, it's that holiday cheer doesn't come cheap: Advertising and gift guides advise us to buy luxury gifts for significant others and friends spouting these are the items that are truly loved and needed.
In doing so, we are often left with a hollow void of the real meaning of Christmas. And how are we mentoring our children in the process? But by taking precious moments to share small acts of kindness, we are giving back more than we might think. We spread cheer to someone else. We elevate our own mood. We inspire more giving. Giving can have a ripple effect. The recipient of your act of kindness benefits, and so do any witnesses. Oh, and you just may enjoy the feeling of giving so much that it turns into a giving spirit that lives on well past the holidays - not to mention you are teaching the art of precious volunteering to your children.
Ways to give back this holiday season:
1. Call a friend you haven't talked to all year.2. Spread good news about someone.
3. Collect cans of food and donate them to a food bank.
4. Gather up your old coats and donate them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter.
5. Pay for someone's layaway anonymously.
6. Run an errand for someone.
7. Buy books for strangers. Books can change lives.
8. Give an unexpected generous tip to make someone's day.
9. Buy someone in your family a journal and inscribe it your best life lesson on the first page.
10. Bake some holiday cookies and share the sweet merriment with your neighbors.
11. Leave a note of cheer on someone's windshield.
12. Sign up for a holiday 5K because the money goes to a good cause.
13. Donate possessions you no longer need to the Salvation Army.
14. Bring a box of toys to a children's hospital.
15. Have a beautiful photo framed and send it as a gift to someone special.
16. Smile at a stranger.
17. Give a genuine compliment every day.
18. Bring treats to the office to share with coworkers.
19. Donate blood and save a life.
20. Bring some blankets, dog food or pet toys to the animal shelter.
21. Write a note or send an email of appreciation to someone who has positively impacted your life.