I know lots of folks who jump on their Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving (or sooner!), but I always wait until December 1. Maybe because it’s my birthday. And even then, I start slow, with a few outside decorations, maybe the nativity. I gradually add decor around the house and finally get the tree up a week to ten days out from December 25.
But this year, I have a new idea about decorating for the season. My pastor gave me the idea during yesterday’s sermon. What if we added a new kind of decorations this holiday season? What if, in addition to the greenery, tinsel, and lights, we decorated our lives with love?
How does that work? I’m glad you asked. Here are ten ways to decorate with love this December:
- Send an actual, physical Christmas card that you WRITE in to special people in your life. Real mail is getting scarcer than hen’s teeth these days. And mail with a handwritten, heartfelt note is the unicorn of the postal system. Be sure to sign your card with LOVE.
- Now send an actual, physical Christmas card to someone you only know a little. Maybe someone who might not get many cards. Write them a sweet note, too.
- Say something nice to someone you don’t know. Maybe it’s a mom in the grocery store trying to shop with kids–tell her how cute her little ones are. Tell the clerk at the mall you like her nail polish. Say thank you to someone in uniform.
- Leave the UPS or Fed-Ex delivery person some holiday sweets or maybe bottled water with a holiday ribbon. They’re working their tails off this time of year!
- Take a meal to someone who’s sick. Or overworked. Or overwhelmed. Or who simply might appreciate it. Take out is totally fine! And if a meal is too much, take cookies.
- Give an anonymous gift to someone you appreciate. It doesn’t need to be big or impressive–a bar of chocolate with a ribbon around it, a candle, or fancy soap–just a little something with a note attached that says, “You are loved” or “You are appreciated.”
- Make a donation to your favorite charity. Even better, make the donation in honor of someone you love.
- When you’re at a toll booth, or fast food drive-thru, pay for the person behind you. Ask the clerk to tell the customer, “Merry Christmas!”
- Go caroling at a nursing home. Or, if you can’t sing, take sugar-free cookies. And don’t forget a box of fudge for the nursing staff.
- Smile. Smile at family member, co-workers, shoppers at the grocery store, folks at church you don’t really know, neighbors. Sometimes the gift of a smile is just exactly the dose of love someone needs.
John 13:35 – By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.