Christmas: A Season of Giving Back

The true meaning of Christmas often eludes us as we frantically shop, bake, wrap and run from one holiday activity to another.  How can we truly experience the joy of the season?  One way that I found is to give to others.  And I don’t mean my own children and family members.  The greatest joy that I have experienced is giving to someone outside my circle of influence – just out of the sheer joy of giving. If you think about it, being in the fortunate situation to be able to give to others, whether it’s your time and talent or monetarily, is really a privilege.  For some families, Christmas is the most difficult time of the year.  They don’t have the means to provide the day-to-day necessities, never mind extras for Christmas.

US Navy 071219-N-6724S-002 Interior Communicat...

US Navy 071219-N-6724S-002 Interior Communications Technician 3rd Class Jennelle Hartman helps a deserving family load some Christmas gifts during the Salvation Army’s Christmas Depot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of my favorite Christmas memories are those that include giving back in unexpected ways.  I always got so much more than I gave. There’s something in our DNA that changes when we extend a helping hand to others.

I remember one Christmas in particular when my girlfriend’s mom had a stroke and she was debilitated and couldn’t work.  As a result, she could barely make her bills. She loved to make her grandchildren hand-made Christmas gifts.  She put so much love and care into each gift.  Because of her stroke, she was unable to make them gifts that year.  She was devastated.  She felt so heartsick that she could not provide gifts for the three people in the world who meant more to her than anyone.  I knew of her situation, and I also knew what her grandchildren wanted most for Christmas.  Armed with this information, I purchased the gifts for her grandchildren for her to give to them.  She was so happy and grateful that she cried.  I think I got the greatest gift that year – the joy of blessing someone else.

Trying to make the holiday perfect for my family often leaves me exhausted and depressed.  When I step out of my comfort zone and do something for others, I am rejuvenated and joyful.  There are some wonderful organizations that you can reach out to and make someone’s Christmas brighter – and your own more meaningful.

  1. Angel Tree is a ministry of Prison Fellowship that delivers love in the form of Christmas gifts and a message of hope to children of prisoners.
  2. Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful way to introduce small children to the concept of giving.  You are invited to pack a shoe box of toys, school supplies, candy and other gifts to introduce a hurting child to God’s love.  You or your child can also include a note.  My son received a letter back one year from the child who received his shoe box.
  3. Make a Wish Foundation has year-round needs in an effort to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

4.  Toys for Tots allows you to shop for children not on your list and make Christmas a little brighter for a needy child.

5.  The Salvation Army is probably the most visible organization associated with Christmas and an easy way to give.

There are so many ways you can give this holiday season. Call a local church and find out if they are doing a clothing and/or food drive.   Become a secret Santa for someone you know needs help.  Bake cookies for someone who cannot do it on their own. Visit a nursing home and spread some holiday cheer to the residents.  Be creative.  And be generous.  I like to say that we can never out give God.  The more we give, the more we receive.  And Christmas is the perfect time to demonstrate that.


p class=”byline” style=”font-style: italic;”>Author Byline:

Kathy Rothaar is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online colleges for the Guide to Online Schools.

  • Making Christmas More Meaningful Without Spending Too Much (

Christmas: A Season of Giving Back by
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
Please wait...

Browse by Category

Browse by Tag

Browse by Date

%d bloggers like this: