Question: I would like to make this coming Christmas more meaningful for me and my family than past Christmases, but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?

Answer: There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing God’s love and miracle-working power firsthand, and what better time to see people’s hearts being touched by His love than at Christmas?

Here are some ideas of activities that you can do with your family or friends. Most of these require a little organization or preparation, but they’re doable.

Go Christmas caroling

Even if you don’t have the most awesome voice, you’ll have fun going door-to-door in your neighborhood singing Christmas carols with others. And you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised to see how readily people open their doors and hearts to you as you spread Christmas cheer. It’s a great way to make new friends and show old ones that you care.

Visit institutions

Visit the lonely and bedridden in hospitals, homeless shelters, children’s homes, or retirement homes. Bring Christmas gifts if you can—they need not be expensive or elaborate to convey love. A little bit of cheer goes a long way!

Babysit for busy parents

During the Christmas season, parents often struggle to find time for all that they need to do. Offer free babysitting to friends at your home or theirs. Include the children in age-appropriate Christmas activities, such as making cards or cookies, or crafting gifts for their parents, relatives, or friends.

Minister to coworkers and neighbors

Remember those people you see at work every day, but don’t exchange more than a casual “good morning” with? Or the people you live next door to but hardly know?

Make an effort this Christmas to get to know them. Perhaps you could invite them to your Christmas dinner, Bible study, or to participate in one of your Christmas activities. You can approach them with a gift of Christmas cookies or a card. Let God use you to bring a coworker or neighbor closer to Him this Christmas.

Christmas angel

Here’s a group project that you can do with your family, workmates, or friends to usher in the meaning and spirit of Christmas.

Put everyone’s name in a hat or a bowl and draw names. Then each person becomes a “Christmas angel” by doing secret deeds of kindness for the person whose name they drew. Give some thought to how Jesus feels about that person and see if you can come up with something special to do for him or her.

Giving from the heart can touch the giver as much as the recipient. As you make it a point to give more of yourself this Christmas, you’ll discover the wellspring of joy and happiness that is Christmas at its best!