Simple Service Ideas For The Holidays

What is it about the holidays that creates a desire within us to give simple service to others more than we do any other time of year? The Spirit of Service is in the air! Despite that fact, we often become “too busy” with food prep, gift buying and decorating to reach out and help others.

Motivation to serve

I feel like our experience as a family as far as the motivation goes really just comes in doing it. We have had some kids who may not be interested in serving in a certain situation. Remember, this is not something that should be forced. The opportunity to help and serve is given and then the kids can choose. In some situations when certain kids have not gone, all it takes to get them to help next time is everyone else saying how amazing it was! We are motivated by doing.

What to do?

We often think that service needs to be BIG-especially in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We feel like we can’t stop by and check on the widow unless we have a plate of cookies, so it doesn’t happen until we make the cookies…right? Wrong! Make the phone call, the visit, give the smile, write the letter. Those small things make a big difference. Simple service!

As far as fun simple service for your family goes, here are some things that we have done that have been great and several of them have become regular traditions.

  • Serve a meal at a shelter or rescue mission. I think kids need to be around 8 to do this but call your local shelters and get the scoop. This has been a highlight of our service memories for sure!

  • Make blankets for a local shelter or task force. Another idea is to make blankets to give to the homeless that are out on the street. We did this one year right before Thanksgiving. We spent a full day making them and the kids faces as they delivered them, were priceless.

  • Buy the “fixin’s” for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and drop them off at a food bank.

  • Choose a person or family to deliver gifts and treats to for the 12 Days of Christmas. (see my post with ideas!)

  • Decorate sugar cookies and deliver to your neighbors with a Book of Mormon.

  • Go to the Stake Family History Center and find names to take to the temple. Then go as a family to the temple and do the work.

  • Choose a name off a Christmas Tree at Walmart or wherever to give gifts to an underprivileged child. We did this for years when our kids were little and it helped them understand in a small way what they really had. I remember one time in particular when we had a 6 year old little girl who just needed underwear, socks and a shirt. Our three oldest girls who were around the same age, picked out the gifts for her, and gave her each a gift that had been meant for them. It was a great lesson in giving and also in wants and needs.

  • Invite neighbors over for a Family Home Evening centered around Christ.

  • Take an evening to make Blessing Bags and then take them to a shelter or deliver them on the street to those who need them.

  • Organize a canned food drive and deliver to your local food bank.

 

What simple service ideas can you share?

I would love for you to share what you have done for simple service that has been successful in your home. Teaching service is so important and creating situations to serve as a family is vital. Think outside the box! Be creative. Look at the needs around you. in every town and city they will be different, but as we teach our families to serve and we serve along side them, the lessons learned by all will be invaluable.

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