It’s no surprise that Christmas is going to look different this year. Many of us won’t be having our usual big family celebrations or attending our typically packed Christmas services. Our ways of serving at Christmas, like doing food drives or giving trees, are likely impacted as well.
This year, we’ll all have to get a little creative, because people need assistance now more than ever! The pandemic has impacted many families’ incomes, so clothing, food, and gifts will likely be in short supply.
There are still ways to serve at Christmas in 2020. Read on to discover simple and creative ways you and your church can help your community.
Collect Gift Cards for Families
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
Many churches do giving trees every Christmas, so members can take a card with a child or family’s information and buy them clothing, toiletries, and gifts. In the age of the pandemic, though, these types of Christmas collections are not always feasible.
This year, collect gift cards for local families in need. You could combine practical gift cards, like one to a local grocery store, with cards to places like Amazon or Wal-Mart so parents can buy clothes and gifts for their children.
Donate Money to a Food Pantry
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor. (Proverbs 14:21)
Instead of doing a canned food drive, which is something that you might have traditionally done at this time of year, collect monetary gifts that can be donated to your local food pantry. Food pantries can do more with your dollar than you can. Due to deals they get with local grocery stores, they can stretch your donation even farther!
Make Book Gift Bags
And [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Christmas is a great time to share the Gospel of Jesus—after all, that is the true meaning of Christmas! This year, give families a gift bag full of books that share this Gospel story in a way that’s accessible for children and adults.
The Essential Christmas Library for Families is a great combination of books celebrating the real meaning of Christmas! Jesse Tree: Jesus’ Family Tree ties together the entire story of the Bible, leading up to the birth of Jesus on Christmas. There is also a children’s Christmas service that ties in with this book; it’s a great way for families to connect during Advent.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name. (Psalm 30:4)
If your church would usually go caroling at a local nursing home or neighborhood, you are probably missing bundling up and seeing friendly faces this year! Get creative and go Zoom caroling instead. Contact your local nursing home and see if they can project Zoom onto a screen in their activity center or dining hall. Then, have all of your carolers log on to the meeting and sing in unison.
You might need a few sessions of practice, so schedule that ahead of time and figure out your sound. If you prefer to avoid lag or have members without a stable internet connection, have everyone prefilm themselves singing, and cut the videos together for a virtual choir.
Looking for a way to grab multiple Christ-centered children’s Christmas books?