From the abundance of Christmas toy commercials that buzz our TV to the shiny new ads in the target magazine that show off the hottest gifts of the season, I think we get lost in the bundle of gifts during this beautiful season.

Somewhere right now, there is a single mom with two young kids that has been trying to find the right words to tell her children that she just doesn't have the money to get them what they want this year. There is a family that just got word of having to leave their house because they just didn't have the finances, and now they have to spend this holiday season frantically trying to figure out where they're going to live next. And somewhere, there's a child, a teenager, even a young adult, who is without any family this season.

These are the families and individuals that very rarely cross our minds during these busy months of November and December. Sure, they have the occasional food bank commercials, but even those last so long before we're sucked right back into the commercial reality of Christmas.

To separate yourself from what feels like a commercial run holiday, I would suggest this. Go to your local food bank and serve soup to others. There is ALWAYS a need for volunteers. You will be so thankful you helped. Fill a shoebox of fun gifts and give it to the children in the local children hospital, or wherever else it's needed. Nothing brings more Christmas joy than seeing a child light up with excitement. Find a family that may be struggling financially this holiday season and help them pay for gifts, or even just their groceries. Let them know they are seen even when the hustle and bustle of this season might push them out. They are humans too, remember this.

So friends, before you read the articles that list of all the presents we NEED this year, and before you start making your own Christmas list to hand off to your parents in hopes that you get the one thing you REALLY want, pause and remember this.

There is a family or an individual this holiday season who may not have anyone to offer them joy. Whether that's because they don't own a warm winter jacket, or they don't have anyone to share this season with. Help take part in your community to bring others joy, even if it means sacrificing something you really want.

Love others, love them well, and have a good holiday season!