My soul craves the structure and schedules, the coziness of sweatshirts and hot cocoa, and the beauty of the leaves changing color. It reminds me of the simpler times of my childhood — wiener roasts and pumpkin picking, Homecoming and hot cider, family and friends and football and food. Fall has the best food.
My small obsession with all things Fall got me thinking about how not everyone has the same love of it as I do. Or maybe they do but they are going through a hard season, and they need a little bit more than the season of sweatshirts and snuggles to comfort them.
We all know someone who could use a some extra love this season.
- A friend who lost a baby
- Neighbors going through divorce
- Your cousin serving overseas
- The widow down the street
- The homeless man you pass on the corner each day
- The acquaintance just diagnosed with cancer
- Your son or daughter in prison
- Your child’s friend’s dad who lost his job
The possibilities in this broken world are endless. And since we all know someone who could use come extra kindness this fall, let’s be the hands and feet of Christ and spread the love.
Here are some simple (yet awesome) suggestions to get you started. (And if you are an awkward introvert, like me, don’t worry there are suggestions for you, too. All of us can love well right in the middle of our messes.)
10 Simple (yet awesome) Ways to Love Others this Fall
1. Have a leaf raking contest
If you have a youth group or lots of neighborhood kids, this would be a fun weekend project. Separate into groups and rake as many yards as you can. Depending on your neighborhood, you may want to knock on the door and ask before you get started.
2. Send surprise Starbucks gift cards to friends (Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone?)
Write a sweet note, include some encouraging Scripture, and slip in a gift card to Starbucks (or a local coffee house). Wouldn’t that be an awesome surprise to find in the mail amongst all the bills and spam?
3. Make these pumpkin keepsakes for the grandparents
Let’s be real grandparents are obsessed with anything your child does. A footprint forever moralized in a cute pumpkin would definitely be speaking their love language.
4. Invite neighbors over for soup, salad, and breadsticks
I’m sure all my introvert friends are cringing at this one. (Me too!) But sometimes the greatest blessing you can give another is company accompanied by warm tasty food. So be brave, invite others over, and nourish each others hearts and tummies! (I’m preaching to myself here, too.)
5. Send a care package to those serving overseas
Operation Gratitude has a lot of awesome ways you can help put together care packages for our troops overseas. Right now they are looking for Beanie Babies/Trolls/Webkinz, Halloween candy, and some homemade items they are in need of as well. Click over to see how you can best help.
5. Bring Fall craft projects to give to residents of your local nursing home.
Pinterest is full of simple craft projects for kids. (Check out my All Things Fall board.) Taking the time to hand deliver your child’s (or Sunday School’s) creations is such a wonderful, yet easy way, to love on a sometimes forgotten group of people.
6. Collect and donate mittens and hats for the local shelter
Whether you organize a hat and mittens drive, knit or crochet your own, or buy them at the store, I can guarantee that your local shelter will be incredibly grateful for your donation. Both of the shelters that I worked for were always looking for hats, gloves/mittens, and winter coats.
7. Write an I-can’t-wait-see-you letter to a family member you only see on holidays
The Holidays are quickly approaching, so why not send have your kids (or you) send your family members a I-can’t-wait-to-see you letter or coloring page. It’s an easy way to let someone know you them, and you are thinking about them.
8. Wake up early to set warm muffins on the porch for your paper deliverer
Why not bless your paper boy (or girl) with a some warm muffins or bakery donuts? It’s a simple way to say thank you and brighten someone’s day. If you don’t have paper delivery or they don’t come up to your door steps, consider taking muffins or cookies to your local post office.
9. Send thank-you notes to those who loved your children well this summer. (Coaches, teachers, camp counselors)
Who blessed you or your kids this summer? Why not let them know how thankful you are for this their time and dedication? Have your child write them a little note, and consider putting in a small token of appreciation. (See #2)
10. Finally mail those cute vacation pictures the grandparents have been bugging you about.
Confession: I’m including this one as a kick in the pants for myself. I have a grandma who is ALWAYS asking for pictures of my kids, and I always forget. This fall I’m making it a priority to send her some pictures, and I encourage you to send pictures to your grandparents, too!
It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it with a loving, grateful heart.
How and who will you love well this Fall?
Go love well!
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