A Different Kind of Christmas

I’m going to be honest with you, I am having a lot of trouble writing about hospitality this year. Whether it’s people to fearful to gather or governments imposing restrictions we all have to admit it’s hard to practice hospitality in 2020. I had my entire December posting schedule mapped out. It was breaming with hostess secrets and tips on Christmas dinner, bake-offs, parties, gift guides, open house events, and so much more. I have been pumped to write and share since last Christmas.

I feel lost friends. I’m sitting here realizing that Christmas is only 1 week away and there hasn’t been a single party, dinner, gift exchange, or bake-off. I’m even behind on my own Christmas shopping. I do have a little bit of an excuse as I announced the expected Summer arrival of our first child early this week over on my social media, but it’s hard to even use that as justification for slacking off this Christmas.

With the pandemic stealing so much from us this year, how do we go forward in love? As we quickly march forward into the holiday season and the new year that is waiting just around the corner, how can we still practice hospitality and kindness to those around us?

Here are 5 unconventional ways to show Christmas love and kindness to others without gathering together:

1.) Send a week worth of groceries or meal delivery kits.

Meal kits such as Hello Fresh will have great deals around Christmas time. Consider gifting someone a week of meals. If that’s not an option, consider going shopping and buying them a weeks worth of groceries instead. Items such as cereal, oatmeal, pasta, crackers, canned goods, and jar soups are great options for meals that will stay good for a long time.

2.) Send a Christmas card with a variety of gift cards.

If you have a larger blessing budget consider blessing someone with a variety of gift cards. Include establishments such as grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants to hit all essentials. If you’re sending them farther away, consider a Visa or Mastercard gift card to be sure they can be spent anywhere as some local chains might not be available across country.

Write a letter to include in that card telling the recipient how much they mean to you. Offer some encouragement and maybe a written prayer for them that they can go back and read when needed.

3.) Send a surprise box with games and activities.

I like sending packages from Amazon. I can shop and send straight to the recipient all while hiding payment information. There are many places that will allow you to send packages straight from the shop, so do a search and pick the best option for you.

Board games, card games, activity books, puzzles, and brain teasers are excellent choices to provide cheer and entertainment through the winter (and pandemic) months.

4.) Do a surprise porch drop.

Put together a cocoa bar basket with drink mix, peppermint sticks, mini chocolate chips, and marshmallows and drop it on their porch for a fun surprise. You could also do a basket with freshly baked breads and cookies.

This is an excellent choice for someone who is sick or recovering, new parents, single parents, older adults, and quarantining friends.

5.) Put together an essentials package for someone in need.

Include items such as toilet paper (a rare commodity these days), laundry soap, hand soap, toothpaste, sanitizer, Lysol wipes, diapers, etc.

This could mean the world to someone who has lost their job or part of their income for the holiday season. If no names come to mind consider reaching out to your local church and see if they have some people that need an extra blessing this season.

This might not be the Christmas hospitality we were hoping to share this year, but we can still be a blessing to those around us! So many are suffering in many ways this year. Whether it’s health, relationships, or finances, we don’t have to look long before we find someone in need of encouragement and help. This Christmas I encourage you to look around and ask God to show you who you can be a blessing to this year.

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