Give a Little Extra, Get a Whole Lot More!

I love this time of year! I love my Christmas tree, I love the crisp, cool, winter air, and I, especially, love to bake! I have special cookie and cake recipes that I have used for years, and then I search for a few new ones to add to my collection. I begin early to store up all the baking supplies I will need until about the second weekend in December. This is when I put on Christmas music and turn off the phone and steal away to my tiny kitchen and begin to bake! I bring out my holiday cookie pans and muffin pans and mini cake pans and cookie cutters, all the sprinkles and powdered sugar and flavorings and candy to put on top. Oh and don’t forget about the chocolate. Christmas baking would not be complete without chocolate!

When the festive event is done, I store everything in bags, boxes, tins, and plastic containers, and then… at just the right time,  I pack it all up in beautiful gift bags and give it all away! Well, I might keep a cookie or two for that especially snowy day! My loved one and I make a list of all the special people we will visit and deliver the goodies to. They are our neighbors, friends and family, someone who lives alone, or one who has recently lost a loved one or maybe someone we just haven’t seen in a while. Then, we will pack up the truck with my mountain dulcimer and all the gift bags and set out for a special winter’s evening. Now, it does take several afternoons and evenings to make our rounds, but the joy of sharing this special time with our loved ones is our Christmas gift to each other. It is what the season is all about. The blessings we receive are something we will hold in our hearts for the entire New Year to come.

Cheap Joe’s and I would, also, like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season. While we are enjoying all of our families and many blessings, let us also, think of those in our communities who are less fortunate and may need a little extra assistance this year. Whether it is a neighbor or a stranger, whether young or older, we all can make an extra effort to fill a special need for someone.  Just think of how many people will be touched if each of us thought of just one of them. Below are just some of the ways, we have thought of to grant someone in need a special gift of hope. Please share any other ideas you might have for making someone’s Christmas even more Merry!

  • Deliver new and used clothing to a local shelter for all ages and sizes.
  • Donate your time at a shelter to serve a meal.
  • Take a shut-in a home cooked meal.
  • Sponsor a family or individual from an Angel Tree.
  • Decorate a tree for someone with physical limitations.
  • Write Christmas cards for someone at an assisted living facility.
  • Bake goodies for an individual or family with children.
  • Prepare shoe boxes for children in your community or abroad.
  • Help a child make Christmas cards for a Children’s hospital.
  • Invite someone who is alone for the holidays to share a meal with you.
  • Take an elderly person shopping.
  • Say a special prayer for everyone in need.
  • Take instant photos at a Christmas event, place in a photo frame card and present them to the guests.
  • Give your change to the bell ringer.
  • Share your musical talents with someone, perhaps, in a nursing home.
  • Donate to United Way.
  • Assist a family who may be struggling, not everyone will make their need public.
  • Collect money from your office, church, or family and pay someone’s heat bill.
  • Bring a load of fire wood to someone.
  • Give to a local Charity.
  • Offer to clean someone’s home.
  • Bring someone food for their pet. Animals are great company this time of year!
  • Give someone a Christmas HUG! It’s the gift that gives back!
  • Listen! Someone may just need someone to talk to.
  • Share a smile! And get one back in return!

There are many more special things we can do to make someone smile this holiday season. They, of course, will not expect it, which will make it mean so much more to them as well as to you. Include your family in the giving and make it a family tradition. Whatever you do will change someone’s life and bring hope to their family and home. Spread a little good cheer this season and into the New Year and receive so much more than you could ever imagine!

May God Bless you and your family during this wonderful Christmas Season!
And Have a very special “Give a Little, Get Much More” Day!

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