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Allison and Terri

5 Ways to give back as a Family

5 Ways to give back as a Family

My family and I are dealing with what I like to call a “Christmas hangover”, with days on end that focus on giving and doing more it is so easy to get caught up in materialism. I want my children to learn that it feels fantastic to give back to others, often it feels better than getting.

There is a reason the holiday season is for giving, the point that I fear so many of us are missing, is that it is the season for giving to everyone. For me adding another ‘to do ‘ to my already very lengthy list is enough for me to develop a facial twitch. Often, I have every intention of doing something, anything to give to others but holiday parties, wrapping presents and untangling the lights seem to get in the way.

Due to the fact that I start the season with good intentions and often end up failing miserably, I came up with some easy ways for my family to give back. So, I thought I would share.

 

ways to give back

Before those of you who are the furthest thing from Betty Crocker protest hear me out.

The treat doesn’t have to be out of your oven, it can be something that you pick up during your weekly grocery shopping trip. Deliver the treat in a visually appealing way and attach an encouraging note and you are all set. If you need a great cookie recipe here is one of my favorites.

Plan in your budget to buy a few gift cards to your neighborhood grocery store. It doesn’t have to cost a lot maybe you purchase several $5 or $10 cards.

Then while you are doing your weekly shopping, look around for the shopper who looks totally frazzled. Maybe it is the momma whose children are giving her a hard time or the person who is adding up what every addition to her cart will cost her. Then hand them the gift card and tell them you just wanted to lighten their load, even if it is a small amount. Trust me it will mean so much.

Who do you know that just had a baby or has had a major life change?

That person is the best recipient of this gift. Think back to when you were a new parent (if you are a parent) wouldn’t a call from a friend saying “think of a day for me to watch little bit, and I will come relieve you. You can go shopping, to a movie or maybe just take a nap!”

The holiday season can be totally brutal for those who feel lonely during the year as it is, add the holiday season in and it can be downright depressing.

My 91 year old grandfather lives for seeing my children, it totally brightens his day. Make it a point to go visit those people in your family who are prone to being lonely. Better yet, stop in a nursing home and go visit on your way from shopping. This is guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of lonely folks.

The holiday season is for sure the time for more mail than normal, and it isn’t all bills! Pick one or two people and send them a card a week with an encouraging note or include a Starbucks card with just enough on it for 1 drink.

I prepare for this all year long by picking up cute cards I see when I am running my usual errands and stashing them for a later date.

How does your family give back during the holiday season? Do you plan on implementing any of these ideas? Kindness and caring doesn’t have to cost much at all. It is always the thought that counts!

 

4 Comments

  • Rachel Osborn

    October 18, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Good ideas, and not just for the holiday season, but all year round! It’s important to teach our kids to give! I am going to enlist my 3 year old’s help in putting together a box for Operation Christmas Child this year.

    Reply
  • Sam - Journo and the Joker

    October 19, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I haven’t even thought about Christmas yet. We are living in a Buddhist country this year and I doubt there will be a frenzy of gift-buying etc.
    In fact, living in this country – Cambodia – one of the poorest nations in south-east Asia, where we devote much of our time to helping those in need, has put a whole new perspective on the commercial gift-buying chaos that people go into. When someone is extremely thankful because you built them a very basic wooden house with no electricity, no running water and no inside kitchen, it really does make you think about all the stuff we buy in the western world and why we need it. There are many ways of giving here and some of them are as small as providing a few clothes to a family, buying some fruit because they can’t afford to buy fruit, giving a bike to a family so the children can get to school or just donating time to help teach and educate.

    Reply
  • Emma Page

    October 19, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as “pending”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “oy” in “comment_content” *]
    Such fantastic ideas for all year round! We have always taught our children, that they need to donate their unwanted toys to our local hospice or Children’s waiting room. This also helps us to declutter while doing good. I know that we could do more.

    Reply

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