We’re winding down to the last few tradition posts this year! It’s Christmas Eve, the cookies are baking, and I’m taking a few minutes to share one of my family’s essential Christmas traditions: Christmas service.
Every year we do Christmas service either in the morning or the afternoon. How is this different than the other meaningful service ideas we’ve shared this year, the kind we’ve tried to do all season? This is an act of service specifically on December 25.
It’s helped our family to pause our present opening and other Christmas celebrations on the actual holiday to find a way to bless others. This service invites a wonderful spirit into the rest of our day and hopefully blesses the people we are seeking to love.
One of our favorite Christmas Day service projects is taking breakfasts to people who are in need or who are lonely. We sing a carol or two, deliver a card and some eggs, bacon, juice or a breakfast casserole. Sometimes we’ll stay and visit longer and other times it’s a quick delivery at the doorstep with a smile and “Merry Christmas!”
A particularly memorable Christmas breakfast delivery seemed to be a flop at first. We had made an extra large breakfast for a family with several children, but when we went to their home we found out they had moved unexpectedly! As we drove toward home discussing what to do, we felt like we should bring the meal to a certain home in that neighborhood.
I was so embarrassed to knock on a stranger’s door! But we figured the worst they would do is give us a strange look and say “no thanks.”
A young mother sweetly let us in and was thrilled when we told her we’d like to give breakfast to her family! She was expecting lots of family for Christmas company that day but didn’t have any food prepared for their celebration. While she gratefully accepted our pans of pancakes, eggs, and other goodies our family was blessed forever by her children’s Christmas joy.
They had a tiny tree and just two or three small presents, but the children excitedly told us about how it was the best Christmas ever! We left with happier hearts and will always remember this family who let us share 10 joyful Christmas minutes in their home.
Christmas Breakfast Tips
- Keep it simple! You can make something ahead of time like a casserole or cinnamon rolls, or double your breakfast for the morning like pancakes and eggs. We buy milk or juice, usually on sale. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy! We’ll often reuse Christmas containers from tasty gifts we’ve received and add a bow to make it festive.
- Plan a time to deliver your breakfast. If you don’t plan ahead it’s easy to squeeze out service during the fun family day! Our time for breakfast delivery is right after we each open one gift so everyone knows what to expect.
- Have addresses handy and a maybe an idea for a back-up person or two to enjoy the food if someone isn’t home.
- If you can find out dietary needs or preferences that’s helpful too!
Christmas Day Caroling
Another favorite Christmas service tradition is to sing at a nursing home that doesn’t get many visitors like Madison talked about in her caroling post. We have a few favorite locations, and the people love seeing the children grow over the years. This is a sweet service anytime, but it’s my favorite on Christmas day.
I’ll never forget one older lady with snow-white hair squeezing my hand. “Thank you for thinking of me. Bless you. Merry Christmas.” Another lady still had one of our little one’s cards on her door a year later when we visited again with a few other treasured items.
Christmas Day Caroling Tips
- Call ahead if possible to find out the best time visit in case there are other events scheduled. Our family tries to find places that don’t have a lot of activities so we can bring extra cheer!
- Invite people to sing with you! We had a sing-along one year at a nursing home, and it was a blast!
- If you have children with you, they can bring little jingle bells or simple props. Or have them wear their Christmas dresses or a festive costume. The children and the older adults will love it!
- Don’t feel nervous if singing isn’t your forte. They’ll love the carols anyway. But you can also play an instrument, share a poem, or just plan on visiting for a few minutes.
- Bring a little card or memento to give out if you can. It can be a simple piece of paper with a Christmas stamp on it, a children’s drawing, anything that’s a physical reminder that you care about the people you’re visiting.
It’s the Thought
Christmas Day Service can be anything you want! It adds a unique light to a beautiful day and helps us remember the Giver of all wonderful gifts, Jesus Christ.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas Eve!
-a This Blue Dress sister
Our list of Christmas traditions has some other great service ideas that would work well for Christmas Day Service!