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.
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!