5 Ways Your Family Can Focus on Others this Christmas

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Author Lori Lee explains why Christmas is the perfect time to be "global in your local" and to extend a helping hand and heart to others.

Ready or not, the holidays are here.

Each year, the decorations show up earlier, advertisements creep in and eventually commercialism robs us of the real meaning of the holidays.

This holiday season, I am determined to slow down and celebrate the reason for the season. I also plan on this moment to be a teachable opportunity for my child. I am going to use this season to teach my child how to be global in his local.

Be Global in Your Local

What does this mean?

I want my child to understand—and care about—the needs of others around the world. With this perspective, he will be more generous, understanding and compassionate in his everyday environment.

Here are some ways that you and your family can take the challenge, and be global in your local.

1. Serve those in need.

Get involved in at least one opportunity this holiday season to serve others in our community less fortunate than you.

For example, you can make cards and decorate the doors of the ladies and gentlemen that spend their holidays in a low-income nursing home in the area.

You can visit The Salvation Army's site to find organizations to partner with in your local community.

2. Bring the world to your family.

Read books to your children that will help grow their global perspective on the world.

A Day in A Life teaches children—whether in the developed or developing world—that they have more in common than they think. Share this book with family and friends as a Christmas gift.

3. Celebrate another culture.

Did you know that Christmas is celebrated in different ways around the world?

You and your family can be more global in your local by learning about other country’s Christmas traditions.

Start out by choosing a country from this list and learning about its culture. If your family is feeling adventurous, try adopting one tradition from that country’s Christmas culture.

cookie recipe, kids making cookies

4. Share a meal.

Make a meal or dessert for someone in your community. Take a real look at your neighborhood. For example, who are the elderly individuals that don’t get out and about every day?

As a family, make extra food one night for dinner and share it with someone in need. A home cooked meal can be a huge blessing to a neighbor in need. This is a great recipe for sharing.

(Side note: Make sure to put it in a plastic container that they do not have to return.)

5. Get one, give one.

Challenge your child with a new perspective on gifts: when they get a gift, encourage them to give one away.

This giving can occur locally or even globally. This will be a great exercise for growing generosity and thankfulness.

A Final Tip for Parents

Remember that we have a limited time with our children. God allows a brief window of years to instill a lifetime of values and a global perspective.

 If you don’t stop and plan out what you want your holidays to look like, they will furiously roll in and roll out without any intentionality to them.

This year, schedule these important opportunities into your family schedule. Being global in your local not only makes life better, but it helps bring the Reason back to our season.

Lorie Lee has two Masters, an Ed.D. degree and over 15 years working experience in Christian non-profit ministry. She is passionate about raising global kids. Her son, Maddox, was the inspiration to create products that help foster kids who live and think outside of themselves. She is the author of A Day in the Life