As Christians, we are called to give back to the less fortunate. The Bible teaches in Matthew 25 to lend a hand to our neighbors as we would Christ:

“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.” Jesus explains: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

During the Christmas season, there is a certain sense of Christmas Spirit that can’t be replicated at other holidays. There are a multitude of ways we can spread that Christmas Spirit, but one of the greatest is serving the people of our communities.

In several communities in Oklahoma, there are Angel Trees sponsored by various organizations. Angel Trees help connect giving families with children who are without parents during Christmas, or perhaps are not likely to have the Christmas they have always dreamt about.

There are gift tags hung on a Christmas tree at a local church, mall, or shopping center and by choosing a tag off of the tree, you can help bring a gift – and the Christmas Spirit – to children across the state.

Another way to give back is by donating old or unused winter coats to a clothing drive. Especially during the winter months, a warm winter coat goes a long way for someone in need.

Check to see if stores or churches nearby organize a clothing or coat drive and donate winter coats no longer used by your family members.

Sometimes, the best way to give back is to volunteer your time. Several organizations host Christmas meals in our Oklahoma communities at local schools or churches. Volunteering your time to help serve a meal or organize a canned food drive at the holidays can make all the difference in bringing holiday cheer to someone who may need it.

After all, it is better to give than to receive. This Christmas, I encourage you to use your talents to serve the Oklahomans in your community and it is my sincere hope that our Lord blesses all of us with a servant heart and a grateful spirit.