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"Blessed Are The Merciful": Christmas is for Giving


As promised, I’m continuing the Works of Mercy series. But first, how did last month go? We dedicated November to burying the dead and praying for the Living and the Dead. Were you able to use some of the suggestions here? Did you come up with yours?

This December, the focus is on “Feeding the Hungry.” What are your most vivid childhood Christmas memories? I remember the food. Mounds of bright orange jollof rice, peppered chicken, elbow-licking egusi and pounded yam, fried rice, moi-moi, plantain, chin-chin, puff-puff… I remember drinking so much Fanta, my stomach would be distended from all the gas. Christmas was for food.

As I grow older, the tradition of endless feasting hasn’t waned. Even if I’m not cooking, I know that merely dropping in to visit someone on Christmas Day guarantees me a full belly. Not having food to eat on Christmas Day is almost an oxymoron. Not possible. And yet it’s a very real reality for some families. There are families that have no food to eat, not just at Christmas but all year round.

“When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind; and you will be blessed because they are not able to pay back. God will repay you.” Luke 14:12-14

This Christmas, here are a few ways to live the corporal work of mercy: Feed The Hungry.

  1. Charity begins at home; see to the proper nutrition of your loved ones.
  2. Organize a food drive. Support and volunteer for food pantries, soup kitchens and agencies that feed the hungry. Contact restaurants to find out if they’d be willing to donate their leftovers.
  3. Educate yourself about world hunger, specifically about hunger in Nigeria.  
  4. Avoid wasting food. Take only what you can eat.
  5. Share your meals with others.
  6. Buy a meal for a homeless person/beggar.
  7. Make a small food hamper for a less privileged family and give it to them on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Fill a carton (Indomie carton, for instance) with practical food (not cookies and cereal) e.g. rice, groundnut oil, tinned food, tinned tomatoes, pasta, eggs, noodles, beans, garri… be creative, do what you can.
  8. Share your Christmas feast. Pack some cooked food into individual takeaway packs and share them among beggars on Christmas Day.
  9. Keep snacks in your car to handout to beggars in traffic. You could also keep noodle packs in bags.
  10. Take a friend out to lunch, your treat.
  11. Pay for a stranger’s lunch at your favorite eating spot, no strings.
  12. Prepare a meal for someone in your community (or among your friends and family) you think might need it; a mother with a newborn, someone who’s ill or lonely.
  13. Volunteer for job fairs to get people employed.
  14. Actively try to get an unemployed person gainfully employed. Review his/her CV, raise money for a small-scale business, ask your relatives, talk to your mentor…

 If you’d like to take part in a group initiative, contact me and I’ll try my best to link you with other people in your area. If you’re organizing a group initiative as well, please let me know. 

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas you think should make the list? Do you know of any food drives currently being planned? Let’s talk in the comments’ section below.


  1. Mitchell says

    This is going to be a long one. First of all (go down low). Lol. I couldn’t resist. First of all, can I just say I love that you are Catholic. I very rarely see Catholics on cyberspace who are so open about their faith and the church’s doctrines. I found your blog from kitchenbutterfly, though I read about you months ago on a natural hair bride feature on naturalnigerian. I’m natural too. So yeah. That’s two things we have in common lol. I remember liking the fact that your white wedding was low key. Exactly what I will want for mine. Only I’d rather it was a breakfast reception. Breakfast garden to be specific. A girl can dream lol. Unto the matter at hand. I have been thinking for months now that I’ll like to start some kind of food drive and maybe progress to a food kitchen eventually. The idea just came to me. I am 100% convinced it was Holy Spirit inspired. I was just waiting for a time when I will be steadily in one location. Well I’m in Calabar in Cross River State now. So if you know of any such initiatives in this area I will be happy to volunteer with them. Oh and I have one more idea. How about donating blood? I’m determined to make that a habit. I want to do it for the first time before the year runs out. Ok so that’s about a hundred things we have in common lol. Can we be friends already? I love your sense of humour btw. Ok. Epistle over. Oh and I love words too. Always have always will. Though I don’t write. I read.

    • Hola! I love long comments, lol. Yes, I’m Catholic and I’m trying to talk about my faith more; you know how easily we’re misunderstood. I think the things that unite the various denominations of Christianity are more important than the things that divide us. And us bickering is not winning anybody for Christ! Lol. So I try to focus on the good news.
      I love the idea of a breakfast reception. So do you do the reception before the nuptial mass? That would be totally rad. Haha. Invite everyone to eat breakfast, go to church, go home after church.
      If I hear about anything happening in Calabar, I’ll let you know. Initiating one wouldn’t be a bad idea, though. Ask your church, maybe? Or the CYON?
      I gave blood last year. It’s a worthwhile endeavor and you should go for it. Maybe I’ll try next year, if I’m allowed to with breastfeeding.
      And we are friends, Mitchell. 😀 Seriously, anyone who goes through the trouble of reading my blog and leaving a comment is my friend automatically. Lol. Thank you very much.

  2. Anonymous says

    Thank you for replying. And yaay for friendship! Lol. *gasp* reception before wedding!! My mum will flip! Lol. Yes i should start something. I intend to. I’ve told a couple of people so they won’t let me chicken out lol. And yes i’ll start with the Church. Awww you have a baby! Or you will next year? Either way, congratulations. I wish you the very best. And err my idea was to get everybody up for a nuptial mass at about 7am, breakfast by 9am, before 12pm it’s over. I go and rest. Guests go home. Or to another wedding reception lol

  3. Pingback: Forgiving All Wrongs | eurekanaija

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