“Do you remember why you need to brush your teeth?” I’ve probably asked this to my kids a hundred times. I typically follow up with a powerful 3 point sermonette, concluded with a poem and a song. We’ve also had powerful moments concerning table manners, cleaning your toys, and changing your socks regularly. Why? Not because I want to be a nag. I desire that my children grow healthy, with good hygiene, organizing, cleaning, and social skills. More important than the lecture, however, is that my children see me doing what I desire of them. If my children don’t see me following my own words, why should they?
Spending time giving back to the community, serving and caring for others as a family also falls into this category. Not only is it something we are called to do as Christians, but it’s something we must pass down to the next generation. They need to see us give our time, our gifts, our finances. And ensuring that they understand our reason why is equally as important. It’s not because “it’s a good thing to do,” but because God has richly blessed us to be a blessing, and because all people deserve dignity, love and respect, simply because they are God’s children.
The advent season provides a perfect opportunity for your family to take the extra effort to love and serve those in your neighbourhood and city. Here are a few simple ideas to get you thinking how your family might be a blessing to others.
- Here are two great “Reverse” Advent calendar ideas. Vibrant Faith At Home has an option for a number of small boxes, or you could get some enough liquor boxes from the LCBO to make a calendar, and each day place some food in it for the local food bank.
- Here’s another advent calendar from Nourishing Joy that suggests 25 simple service ideas for families with younger children.
- Generosity can be offered to many people, including your next door neighbours! Why not take some time to make some baked goods for a neighbour that you don’t know, or for those you know that are having herds of family coming for holiday festivities.
- Have you considered a family fundraiser? This might be a great time to bake Christmas cookies for charity. (Hint: Don’t put a price on them. “Donation amount of your choice” works much better!)
There are so many local service opportunities that you can do with your family. What is something you have done? What are some other ways that your family can bless others?