Do you remember how magical the Christmas season was when you were a kid? Now it seems, at least to me, that it’s all about consumerism. As parents, we need to decide how we want our children to experience this holiday season. Will the emphasis be on getting? Or will we teach them about giving as well?
Here are some ideas about “giving back” this holiday season.
Go Christmas Caroling
We’ve made an annual tradition of this every year since I can remember. Usually, we convince other neighbors and their children to come with us and spread a little joy throughout the neighborhood. We make sure to stop at our elderly neighbor’s homes and spend a little time visiting too!
Share Your Cookies
Each year we make holiday cookies and share them with different people in the neighborhood. You can find inexpensive holiday tins and fill them with cookies rather inexpensively. Teachers, bus drivers and crossing guards really appreciate these gifts!
Adopt a Family
When I was a single mom raising 4 small children, one of the most special gifts I ever got was a food basket. It was around Thanksgiving time and a group of ladies in the community knocked on my door and presented the kids and I with the wonderful gift! It was full of canned goods, fresh fruit and a gift certificate for the grocery store. We were so thankful!
Visit a Nursing Home
During college, I worked in the therapy department of a nursing home. I can tell you that the holidays are difficult for elderly or ill people who don’t have family. The residents at the homes I worked at really enjoyed when families would come and spend some time with them during the holiday season. I remember one family came to visit monthly and had their children play the piano for the residents. The children loved having an audience for their mini-concerts and the residents enjoyed listening to the children play too!
Donate a Gift
Many stores have an angel tree program set up during this time of year. As part of this program, you can purchase a gift for a needy child. Simply pick a name off the tree near the store entrance, or purchase a gift and drop it off in the donation box. If you want to know if your favorite store is participating in such a program, you can ask any employee, or check at the customer service desk.
Does your family “give back” to the community at this time of year? If so, please share your ideas!