A Helping Hand for the Holidays

I usually do a post like this every year when the Holidays approach. I love being able to find lots of information in one central place instead of having to do extensive searches.

One of my favorite parts of the Holidays is the opportunity to give back. And as my little guy is growing, I want to teach him the importance of giving during this season- and the rest of the year.

I’ve compiled a list of things you can do, locally or worldwide even, to spread a little cheer. Whether you want to volunteer your time, write a check, buy a gift, etc. There’s always something you can do to spread a little love and Holiday Spirit this most wonderful time of the year!

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Operation Christmas Child– Check churches and local businesses to see if they’re sponsoring this event. You fill shoeboxes with small gifts, toiletries, candy, school supplies, etc to help fill needs all over the world. You can include letters and even get a pen pal from across the ocean. It’s a fun activity to do with your children- make a whole afternoon out of it. Let them choose the gifts for the child. Show them how sometimes something so small can really bless another family. You can now even build a shoebox online or purchase a gift card if you can’t find the time to do the shopping on your own.

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Volunteering your time as a Bell Ringer for the Salvation Army is a small way you can give back this season. And it doesn’t cost you anything but a couple of hours of your time. We loved doing this back before we were parents, but now that our little guy is almost 5 I think it would be fun for him to tag along. You can give people a smile and wish them a Merry Christmas and you’ll bless them- and they may give to bless someone in need.

Volunteer at your local Food Pantry or Community Kitchen- our local kitchen is in need of Volunteers and Food donations daily as they feed families every day and fill backpacks of food for local kids to take home over the weekend. They also usually hold special events around the Holidays and they always need food-preppers and servers.

Amazon Smile is a super simple way for you to give back. You pick your favorite charity- or any one from their list, and when you shop on Amazon, a portion of what you spend goes to that organization. This literally involves NO effort on your part if you’re already Amazon shopping, so why not do it? I choose Cranio Care Bears for our charity- and would love if you would too. But, if you have a favorite charity, go ahead and give a little back!

Find your closest Children’s Hospital and buy gifts for a few kids who won’t be able to make it home for the Holidays. Or when my son was in the NICU, some families would donate dinner to all of the parents who were in the Hospital with their children. I know how much we appreciated that! Gas cards or Gift Cards also make great gifts for families who will be stuck in the hospital.

Many churches will have an Angel Tree with families in need who can’t afford gifts during the Holidays. It’s always fun to pick a kiddo around your child’s age and let them help pick out the gifts. And as a Mom, I like to find a Mom who might also need a little love.

You can also do something as simple as baking cookies for your neighbors. Leaving a gift card for your mail man. Taking hot cocoa to your garbage man. I love a good small random act of kindness all year- but especially this time of year!

Send cards to our military overseas. These men and women are far away defending our freedom and I’m sure they would appreciate a little love. And maybe some Christmas goodies. You can also donate gifts to the families of those who are deployed. Host a wrapping party and you can make it a social event as well! If you don’t know anyone who’s deployed, I bet one of your Facebook friends do!

Go caroling at a nursing home- spend some time with the residents. Some don’t have any family nearby and love the interaction- especially if you bring your kids along with you. They always smile for the littles!

There are so many ways you can give a little to brighten up someone’s Holiday. Make it a family activity and teach your children the importance of giving. I sometimes get so hung up on gift buying and baking and decorating, that I need a reminder myself!

What are your favorite ways to give back during the Holidays?!

 

 

 

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