I suggest the Lord’s people do something similar every time the offering plate comes by in church. Give something. It’s a wonderful habit, a thrilling privilege.
2) Volunteer with some organization that is ministering to the homeless and needy.
Especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, volunteers will be scarce, so that would be the best time of all to work.
In my city, we have homeless shelters and a seafarers’ ministry.
3) Look around for some needy family whom you can minister to.
Get your children involved.
A family in one of my churches taught me something. The father, a wealthy businessman, told me, “My children have everything they need and a lot they don’t. In order to get across to them the meaning of Christmas, I require each of my children to earn money which they will then spend entirely on a needy family during the holiday season.”
4) Find out who is looking after the hospital ICU and CCU waiting rooms over the holidays. Most hospitals have auxiliaries made up of men and women who volunteer for patient and patient-family care. But not all do. When out-of-town families are spending long days and night in a vigil at the hospital, they would appreciate someone stopping by on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with small gifts and some edible goodies. You should clear this with the hospital administration.
5) See what other churches are doing at Christmastime. Some will have plays and pageants and orchestral presentations that would be a delight.
If you are heavily involved in your own church’s productions, visiting another church and sitting anonymously in the audience is a great way to streamline your focus and heighten your joy in Christ.
6) Christmas Angel Tree. This is a ministry, I believe, of the Salvation Army, one our church has participated in for many years running. The idea is to provide Christmas presents and a nice luncheon for the families of prison inmates. I’m sure the Salvation Army can tell you how to pull this off. Those of us who have been involved even to a small degree have found that the joy on the faces of the children make it worthwhile. (My sources say that Prison Fellowship birthed the concept, and it’s being done now through PF as well as the Salvation Army.)
7) Operation Christmas Child. This ministry from Samaritan’s Purse has caught on like wildfire. Thousands of churches delight in leading their people to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in other lands. www.samaritanspurse.org.