It’s the season of giving, right? Then why do we make Christmas lists and have catalogs circled in big Sharpie circles telling the world what WE want? We as parents mean well and truly want to teach our children how to give back this season and the true meaning of Christmas, but consumerism and complacency are the modern traditions, and we simply don’t get around to it. Even the Grinch figures out what really matters most, and changes his selfish ways. And if he can, can’t we as well? Here are a handful of ways you can give back this season.
Local Church Donations
Give back this season by Checking with some of your local churches to see if they are doing any donation drives for Christmas. Some do shoe boxes with wish lists, some just ask for unopened toys and new clothes, and some ask for used, but still good condition. If you do not have a home church, or are unsure on where to start, reach out to friends and family to see if they have a home church taking donations.
Foster Fairies, Inc.
Foster Fairies is a great organizations for giving back this season. because they work with Child Advocates to ensure children in the foster care system receive christmas and birthday gifts. You can adopt a child to buy for or find a drop off location for new, unwrapped toys that will be given to children who may not have been “adopted”. Our northeast side meetup location , Table + Tea, is a drop off site as well. You can learn more about Foster Fairies here.
Toys for Tots
Give back this season by donating to toys for tots. Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to less fortunate children. . The program was founded in 1947 with the mission to bring hope and cheer to children. There are numerous drop off sites around the city. Find one near you here.
Make cards for sick kids
It never hurts to remind your kids that just being healthy is a gift. Make cards and perhaps even a homemade gift or ornament and deliver to a children’s hospital. If you choose to make a card or ornament, hospitals ask that they are not excessive. Because pieces could fall off and be a health concern for some patients. Give back this season by giving to those who cannot go home.
Visit a senior citizen
Nothing brings a smile to a grandparent’s face like that of a child, even one they’ve never met! Find a nursing home near you and set up a good time to drop of some homemade cards or goodies. You can also sign up to be a volunteer, play bingo or maybe do some caroling for them.
Thank you cards
We started a new tradition last year of driving around to houses that really put on a show with their light displays and left thank you cards on their mailboxes. We attached a candy cane to them along with the story of the candy cane. Be sure not to put them inside the mailbox as they are federal property and is not allowed! However, you can put them on their porch, personally hand deliver them or mail them to that address.
Christmas with the Kranks
Do you have a cranky neighbor? Or maybe one you don’t know very well? Make a plate of cookies or another homemade gift and deliver it to them. Doing this will help teach your children to give to all without expecting anything in return. You might also make that Kranks heart grow three sizes.
Random Act of Kindness
Prepare items ahead of time like notes, drawings, quotes, even snacks and keep them in your car. Leave them around town on people’s windshields, on an ATM screen, to a sales clerk or anywhere you feel led. You can also put items like gloves, socks, scarves or hats in your car to give to the homeless as you pass by.
While these are just a few suggestions, the possibilities are endless. We all know how good it feels to receive a gift from someone, but when that gift has meaning behind it, it takes on a whole new feeling. And therefore, the feeling of giving, well that trumps getting just about anytime. In conclusion, choose just one way you can give with your child this holiday season. Your heart just may grow three sizes as well.
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