25 Ways to Give this Christmas without Spending a Cent

The Christmas season is sure to stir up the desire to give, even in the stingiest of hearts. 

Giving feels good. Jesus himself said that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 10:35) and social scientists confirm this truth. Research has discovered that volunteering can actually lift people out of depression. 

Although your heart is in the right place when you desire to give, our consumerism based culture can turn giving into a shop till you drop mentality leaving your bank account in overdraft. 

Here are twenty five ways to give without breaking the bank:

1. Write a positive review. We are usually quick to file a complaint when we get less than quality service but do we ever go out of our way to give positive feedback. What an easy way to brighten someone's day!

2. Give someone a compliment. It could be a cashier or someone you know but be sincere. 

3. Help someone to their car with their groceries. A mom with young kids or an elderly person will usually welcome a helping hand.

4. Write a thank you note. Could be a co-worker, a bus driver or your spouse. Let people know you appreciate them.

5. Pray with someone. Put your hand on their shoulder and let them hear you ask God to bless their life.

6. Hold the door open for as many people as you can. Around the holidays people tend to be bogged down with more shopping bags and getting through those mall doors becomes a little harder.

7. Help someone take a stroller up or down stairs or through a doorway. It's simple, but trust me it will be appreciated.

8. Bless someone's inbox with a thank you letter. This is an easy way to brighten someone's day. 

9.  Do you know anyone who lost a loved one this year? Let them know that you are thinking about them.  See if they need anything. If they are alone invite them to spend a holiday dinner with you and your family. 

10. Make 'You Matter' cards. Give them out to people who make a difference in your life. From the cheery barista who gets your day started to your Sunday school teacher. Click the link to see where this idea originated from. 
Sign up to get 30 free “You Matter” cards

11. Do an errand for someone. If you know someone is overwhelmed – perhaps by a new baby, family health issues, or something else – give them a call when you’re going out to the store to see if they need you to pick anything up for them. 

12. Leave an encouraging note on a strangers windshield. After they realize its not an "I hit your car" note, they will be smiling from ear to ear.

13. Offer to rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbour. Even if they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves, bless them anyway.

14. Donate blood. This is a gift that can give life to someone truly in need. If you are healthy enough to do it, it can really make a difference.

15.Send a thank you note to someone that dedicates their life to service. Ie. Police, teacher, cleaner at a hospital.

16.Send someone a letter in the mail. Getting mail is exciting (If its not bills or junk mail of course). Surprise someone when they open their mailbox to a handwritten letter.

17. Send someone a random text to brighten their day.  You could send them a scripture, an encouraging word or even a joke to make them really laugh out loud.

18. When someone is doing a good job, tell them. This could be a child painting or a server at a restaurant. Get in the habit of pointing out the things people do well. 

19. Donate items to someone in need. If there are good condition items in your home that you don't use why not donate them to someone who would be blessed to have them.

20. Make someone a meal or a dessert. If you have already planned on baking banana bread, make an extra loaf and give it to someone to let them know you were thinking about them.

21. If you know someone who lost someone dear to them compile a book of memories for them. Get friends and family members to provide stories and photos.

22. Reach out to someone going through a hard time. Lend them an ear or a shoulder to cry on. 

23. Help someone with their studies. You could tutor a child or offer to proofread papers for a busy mom who has returned to school.

24. Engage a homeless person in conversation. How lonely would you feel if most people turned the other way when they walked past you. Spare change will help them temporarily but knowing someone cares about them will leave a lasting impression. 

25. Give to God. Give Him your heart, your worship, your praise. Through all of your giving, let it bring glory to God.

All of our giving not only honours God but when we do good to others, scripture tells us its like doing it to Jesus. 

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'  "Then the righteous will answer him, 'LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'  (Matthew 25:35-40)

Let us not only honour Christ in our giving, but let us be like Christ and live a life to serve others and be selflessly poured out to God.