building relationships

Developing real relationships is essential to sharing freedom and changing hearts and minds. Even if your conversations during the holidays never turn to policy, you’re making initial investments in friendships that will allow you to have conversations about freedom down the road.

But if you’re going to use the festivities to grow your community, you need to be intentional. Here are some ways you can reach out to your family, friends and neighbors during the holidays.

Go Caroling

It might seem quaint or old-fashioned, but Christmas caroling is a time-honored tradition that will help you meet your neighbors. Gather up a group of friends, print out some lyrics, bundle up and head out. Bonus points if you wear something festive!

Few things break the ice better than a chorus of “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night.” At each house, perform a few songs and be sure to introduce yourself and spend a couple minutes chatting.

Christmas Cookies

Baking and Christmas go hand in hand. This year, break out your grandmother’s classic cookie recipe and make an extra batch. Like caroling, cookies can be a great way to introduce yourself or spark a conversation.

Take some time to think about the people in your life who you’d like to get to know better or who might need some holiday cheer. Take cookies to your neighbors, your child’s teacher, your landlord or your mailman. If you can’t deliver the cookies in person, write a personalized note wishing the recipient a Merry Christmas. You could even invite them over for dinner sometime.

Holiday Parties

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of gatherings and parties you get invited to during the holidays. But resist the urge to show up for a few minutes to “make an appearance” or only hang out with the people you already know.

Make a personal commitment to meet at least two new people at each party, or at least spend time learning more about someone you don’t know very well. After each event, make a plan for how you’re going to further develop the relationship with the people you met.

Christmas Cards

Snail mail is often neglected in today’s digital world. But there’s still something meaningful about getting a Christmas card in your mailbox.

Christmas cards or letters can be a great way to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with or show someone you care. If you already send Christmas cards, think about who you can add to your list. If you don’t, consider making it a new tradition in your household! Christmas cards can be a fun holiday project for your family.

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest. This year, don’t let the month fly by. Make the commitment to use this season to develop the friendships that will grow in the months and years ahead.

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