I love to give, no matter if it’s encouragement or love with words. A hot meal. A baked good. Or a gift. There are many ways to give and doing it as a family makes it even more fun. Here are some of my ideas for Giving This Holiday Season: Family Style.
Giving Family Style: Ages 5-12
There are many ways children this age can learn to give.
* Explain to them that some kids don’t have toys to play with. Then help them clean out their play rooms or toy boxes and donate the gently used toys to a children’s home or shelter.
* Help your child look through their books and donate gently used ones to a shelter or even their classroom at school. Day cares especially have limited budgets so this would be greatly appreciated.
*Show them the Toys For Tots box and ask if they would like to spend some of their allowance to help another kid have a good Christmas. If there is a Salvation Army Angel tree at your work, pick a child off the tree and take your child shopping with you.
*If you have a child that loves animals, call your local shelter and see if they have an angel tree set up at a local store for the animals. Our local no kill shelter puts up Christmas trees at our local Tractor Supply Store. Let your child choose an animal to shop for. You could also look up the wish list at your shelter and order from Chewy.com and have it delivered if this makes it easier for you.
*Operation Christmas Child-Samaritan’s Purse is an international organization that helps kids overseas with Christmas every year. You simply pack a shoebox, find a drop off location, and let this organization help light up a child’s life this Christmas. You can find more information here.
Family Style Giving: Ages 13-19
*Ask your teen if they would like to adopt a friend who may be from a divorced or single parent home and buy them a few special presents this year with their own money.
*Ask your teen if they would like to clean out their closet and donate the clothes and shoes they don’t wear.
*See if you can find an outreach that matches your teens interest and ask if they would like to give their time for a few days over Christmas break. (Do you have a reader? They could read to seniors at the nursing home. Have a cook? Serve at a homeless shelter. Animal lover? Volunteer at the animal shelter, etc.)
*Have them volunteer as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army.
Family Giving: Mom
*Cook a meal for an elderly neighbor.
*Bake some treats for an elderly neighbor.
*Host a gift wrapping party.
*Offer to watch a friend’s children for an hour or two while he or she goes shopping, bakes, or cleans house.
Giving This Holiday Season: Dad
*Help a neighbor put up their outdoor lights.
*Shovel/Snow blow a neighbor’s sidewalk.
*Help a friend haul home their Christmas tree and set it up.
These are just a few ideas for donating your time, talents and income this holiday season. It is always better to give than to receive, cliched I know. However, as busy as we are the rest of the year, taking the time to do some giving this holiday season, family style, will draw your crew together and create closer bonds.