8 Ways to Serve During the Holidays

I don't think this post needs a huge, long introduction. We all know that the holidays are not only a time to connect with family and eat a bunch of yummy food, but also a time to give back. Here are eight low or no cost ways to serve this holiday season.

//One// Operation Christmas Child
This is something I look forward to every year and is really easy to get involved with. I keep the cost low by buying gifts for the boxes at my local dollar store. You'd be surprised at what a dollar store has to offer - puzzles, hair clips, smalls toys, books, etc. National Collection Week is November 18-25. Get your boxes together this weekend!
Shoe boxes are sent to Boone, NC before being shipped internationally.
//Two// Holiday Mail for Heroes
Each year The Red Cross has their Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Grab a few boxes of cards from your local dollar store, sign the cards or write a short message, put them in a flat rate box (the cost should be around $3 to $4) and mail them to: Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456. The deadline is December 6!

//Three// Light 'Em Up
Join or start a Light 'Em Up Group. The purpose of Light ‘Em Up is for adults and kids to experience generosity so they will see Christmas is always about giving, not getting. Light ‘Em up shows children of every age that they can be used to impact others.

//Four// Donate your time to a local charity.
I got involved in Gilda's Club very shortly after moving to Michigan. Around the holidays I volunteer to go to local bookstores and wrap purchased items to get donations for Gilda's Club. There are so many other opportunities through the year - cooking and providing meals, raking leaves, helping with the children's area, spring cleaning at the club, and community events. Pick a charity that is close to your heart or volunteer at a soup kitchen or women's shelter.

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids
//Five//Volunteer to baby sit.
Volunteer to baby sit for a new or stressed out mom. Pick someone in your neighborhood or baby sit your nieces and nephews. Give the parents a night out or just go entertain the kids while Mom jumps in the shower and runs some errands.

//Six// Create blessing bags.
Put together blessing bags for those in homeless or women's shelters. Use a quart or gallon sized bag and add as much or as little as you want. Fill your bags with hygiene products such as toothpaste, combs, deodorant, toothbrushes, bars of soap, etc. You can also add some non perishable snacks and a travel sized New Testament.

//Seven// Help your neighbors.
If you are already out raking your own leaves or shoveling your driveway, do your neighbors too. It will only take a little extra time and they will be appreciative they didn't have go out in the cold. You never know when you may need them for a favor!

//Eight// Secret Santa
Ask your pastor what a family in need in your church would like or want for Christmas. They may need gift cards, gas cards, clothing items, food, etc. The key is to gift them with something they really need and something that is really going to help. People often feel guilty about being gifted. Doing it anonymously will alleviate their feelings of guilt and the need to "pay it back." This is also a great way to help a friend or coworker in need.

Time is such a precious thing to so many people, myself included. I feel like there isn't enough time in the day to get done what I need too! However, if  you search hard enough you'll realize you'll want to make the time and effort. Make it your goal this holiday season to get out and help others!



  1. I always donate to toys for tots and try to give away any coats im not currently using. If its been in the closet for 2 yrs and hasnt seen the light of day i should PROBABLY give it away LOL

    Kristen @ Your Beauty Fix

  2. LOVE this post! We need more of these in the bloggersphere! Operation Christmas Child is my favorite charity around the holidays, and every year, my mom and I go on a massive shopping spree at Target to fill our 10 box minimum! I'm going to have to get on board with the "Blessings Bags"... such a fabulous idea. Thank you for this post, lady!

    Diary of a Debutante

  3. I LOVE Operation Christmas Child! We used to pack multiple boxes every single year when I was growing up...somehow I missed the deadline this year. :( It's such a great way to bless someone less fortunate!

  4. Such great ideas! And a true reminder of what this season in about!


  5. Great suggestions Ashley! Operation Christmas Child will be my new Holiday tradition :)


  6. I love this post but we have to remember that we should give year around, not just during the holidays, just like how we should love others and not just on Valentines day :D Great post!
    -B ♡ MsBerryStylish