When I think about my favorite Christmas as a kid, it has nothing to do with something I found under the tree, or a party I attended. We had recently moved to a new state, and I had yet to feel like I was fitting in, so I wasn’t looking forward to Christmas break. My brother and sister came home from college, and we didn’t have much planned. I was less than excited.
That year, my dad had the idea that we would go serve lunch on Christmas day at a local mission and then come home and have our Christmas celebration. At 31, I can admit at the time I was less than stoked about not opening gifts as soon as I woke up and spending the day lounging in my pajamas. At 15, waking up early to wash dishes, scoop potatoes, and wipe tables was never going to sound fun, but on Christmas, it was even worse.
Christmas morning came, and we were up early and headed to the mission. We served hundreds of people lunch and gave out dozens of presents to kiddos who never thought to want a Christmas present. We laughed, cried, and hugged people I knew I might never meet again. Time flew by, and to my own shock, I was sad to leave. We got home, showered, and shared stories from the day. Even at 15, I was no longer thinking about the boxes and bows under the tree. Christmas felt different, and that was a good thing.
This Christmas, find a way to serve someone else. Pick a child from the Angel Tree, decorate cards as a family and take them to a nursing home, make goody bags for families spending Christmas at the hospital, or go serve at a soup kitchen. Find something to do that everyone in your family can take part in. It doesn’t matter how you choose to serve, just find the time to do it. You will never regret time spent helping someone else enjoy this special time of year a little bit more. This Christmas, give life to your story.