We are called by Jesus to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That’s not just those who live next door to us, but they’re certainly included, and there is no better place to start than right next door. It’s not an accident that you are their neighbor. God wants to use you to show them love.
What if this Christmas season you focused on your actual neighbors to share the love of Jesus with them? Given the culture of the holiday, Christmas is a season when folks are most open to connecting with others. Here are 7 ideas to help you do just that:
1. Learn their names.
Sadly and to our shame, we often have no idea the names of our neighbors. If you are going to love them, you must work to get to know them. Start by learning their names.
2. Hand-deliver a Christmas card.
Whether it’s store-bought or hand-made, a personalized Christmas card is simple and seasonally-appropriate way to show love. And when you hand-deliver it, it adds tremendous value and meaning.
3. Bless them with some seasonal baked goods.
Treats like this are highlights of the Christmas season and are a “sweet” way to show love.
4. Gift them a Christmas ornament.
Some of my favorite ornaments on my tree are those that somebody gifted my family. Every time I put them on the tree, I think of that person and their friendship.
5. Buy them a quality children’s Christmas storybook to read as a family.
Whether they have small children in the home or are grandparents of small children, a storybook is a great way to share the meaning of Christmas with your neighbor.
6. Host a neighborhood Christmas dessert party.
Dinner may be too much, but a dessert party is simple and attractive to folks who are getting to know each other. Invite your neighbors over to your home for dessert, and encourage them to bring their favorite along to add to the table.
7. Invite your neighbors to special events at church.
Given the wide embrace of Christmas in our culture, folks are often very open at Christmas to attend a church service. We have several special events that folks would enjoy, but Sunday mornings in December with their Christmas themes are special in and of themselves. Don’t miss this opportunity to get folks connected to church!
May you find creative and genuine ways to love your actual neighbor this Christmas!