As Christians we should constantly be looking for opportunities to serve in our daily lives, but sometimes there are great seasons for serving as well. I like to serve during the holiday seasons because for our family we slow down ALOT during the winter months. We take a week off for Thanksgiving and sometimes 4 weeks in December beginning of January. There seem to be a lot more opportunities during this time as well.
Here are 10 service project ideas that your whole family can do together:
1. Visit A Nursing Home
You can make homemade cards and homemade gifts and bring them to your local nursing home. There are some really sweet nursing homes that will set aside a time and area for you to come. We love to go into the fellowship hall or dining area. There is usually a piano and the kids can start singing Christmas carols or hymns and most people will start coming right over to you or waving from their chair for you to come to them! Your kids can tell them Jesus loves them and hand out the cards and pictures. It will be a blessing to both of you!
2. Bake Cookies Or Treats For Civil Servants
This is a fun one! You and the kids can make pumpkin bread and muffins or pies, or Christmas cookies and candies. Deliver them to your local police or fire station with thank you cards. You will see lots of smiles and laughter and your kids may even get to look at a firetruck at the station!
3. Make Care Packages For Deployed Military
This is a lot of fun to do as a group. We make these every year with our American Heritage Girls Troop. Here are two organizations that are good to use. They list complete details and printable sheets with how to package up the box and most requested items.
Operation Gratitude – right now they are asking for paracord bracelets. These would be fun to make with your family!
4. Adopt A Family For Thanksgiving Or Christmas
Do you know of a family in your homeschool group, church or neighborhood that is going through a hard time financially? Maybe there was an illness or a job loss and they are struggling financially.
Here are some things you could do to bless them:
Take up a collection and purchase gift cards for them so they can do some holiday shopping.
Have the kids help you pick out toys or make toys for the children.
Bless them with a big bag of groceries and special holiday treats like holiday soaps and candles, decorations etc…
Bring them a turkey or ham with all the fixins!
Leave a Christmas tree on the front porch
You can also open your home for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. This is sweet to do when you know of people that have no family near by or a deployed spouse.
5. Participate In A Church Food Drive Or Basket Drive
A few of our local churches put together food baskets for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. They will provide a list and sometimes even recipes and you take a basket or bag and go shopping and fill it up. My girls like to come help me with the shopping. They can read the lists and collect the items to fill the bag. It’s fun to throw in some extra goodies too. Our church does a big Thanksgiving packout where the whole church packs baskets in an assembly line fashion. This is a lot of fun, then one weekend you can sign up to drive around town delivering them. We have some great family memories doing this.
6. Work in a Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter
I know of a family that makes it their yearly tradition to work in a soup kitchen on Christmas Day. I love that idea! There is one church that invites the homeless on Christmas morning for a big breakfast. You can also serve anytime during the year serving food.
7. Collect Or Make Blankets, Hats, Scarves For The Homeless
I am part of a crafting for others crochet group with my church. We are making hats and scarves that we will be giving to a homeless outreach group to pass out. If your church has a local homeless area they go to on a regular basis maybe your whole family can go along and distribute warm clothes for the winter? If you don’t feel comfortable taking the whole family you can always collect or make blankets, and warm accessories at home.
8. Samaritan’s Purse- Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
This is another favorite. We have done this alone as a family, with homeschool groups and with our AHG Troops. My kids look forward to this every year! It has become such a tradition that they actually remind me during the year when they see things on clearance that we should pick them up to stuff shoeboxes with!
To learn more visit Samaritan’s Purse!
9. Adopt A Missionary Family
Missionary families can get lonely around the holidays when they are missing their regular family traditions and holiday treats. You ban bless a missionary family by sending special treats to them. There are some missionaries we know in South Africa that always ask for Starbucks coffee and Taco Bell sauce packets! Sometimes it’s the little things from home that can really help with you get through hard times. You can also include specific needs and requests for the people they are serving and reaching out to.
10. Adopt A Local Group Home Or Local Ministry
Do you know of local ministries that you can serve at? It’s nice to take the family to a women or children’s home, medical center for the less fortunate or a crisis pregnancy center. You can collect requested items or come and clean for a day. Most local places have lists of volunteer opportunities like stuffing gift bags for expectant mothers, sorting diaper sizes etc… all you have to do is ask!
Do you have any family serving traditions that you do during the holidays?
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!