Many people are far from their loved ones on Christmas or are still grieving the loss of a loved one and are feeling alone and lost during this holiday season. Even those with a big family might celebrate Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, and are looking for something to do together as a family for the rest of the day. And others, like me, don’t celebrate Christmas and are always looking for a way to make the day more meaningful.
Make and deliver a meal for somebody. Do you have friends or neighbors that are alone? Maybe you know somebody going through a hard time with a recent job loss, or who lost a loved one. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate or even a traditional meal, just one from the heart. Or you can go and serve meals at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Check Volunteer Match to find one in your area.
Visit a nursing home. Christmas can be very lonely for many residents and just having someone to talk with for a little while can brighten their holiday. Share a cup of hot cocoa and listen as they share memories of Christmas past. You can even buy some useful gifts for them such as holiday throw blankets or slippers. Or, you can get a small group together and go caroling at a nursing home.
Deliver cookies or other treats to employees at a hospital or nursing home on Christmas Day. Hospital staff often go to great lengths to make hospital floors more festive for their patients by hanging garland, stockings, and other decorations and bringing them treats. You can bring them some of the joy of the season as they take care of others.
Bring small presents or holiday balloons to children in the hospital. While you probably can’t give them to the kids yourself due to privacy policies, you can ask at the information desk or nurse’s station to see if they will deliver them for you. Better yet, call ahead to find out about your local hospital’s specific policies.
Volunteer to help homeless animals. Employees at local shelters will be working Christmas Day to care for these animals. Help them out. Contact your local shelter to find out how you can volunteer your time or donate any needed supplies.