Christmas is full of so much joy for so many people, but on the flip side, the holiday season can bring a lot of other feelings to the surface.
I have personally seen so many heart breaking stories of families struggling to make ends meet, not to mention trying to make Christmas special for their kids.
For our family we have grown to love giving back, as much and frankly if not more than getting for ourselves.
Below you will find ideas on some of the ways that you can give back this holiday season.
Pay it forward.
This is something that people do year round, but there is something about having the car in front of you pay for your drink (or food) that gives you the warm fuzzies. Especially now.
Share with your neighbor.
We have an older man that lives next door to us that is not married and his kids live about an hour or so away. So if we find goodies that we know he will like or even basics that people use often like butter on sale, I will pick up extra and take it to him. I am happy to share, especially if that means that he won’t have to take a trip to the store.
Bless someone at a store.
This is going to sound so silly, but I have fantasized when things have been particularly tight financially, someone walking up to me and handing me a gift card in the grocery store. So, perhaps it is time to put that daydream into action. You don’t have to pay for someone’s entire grocery order (but if you are in a position to that would be amazing!) but why not hand them a $20 gift card to use in that store?
Take advantage of buy one get one free sales at the store.
When you are shopping at the grocery and you see an item that is buy one get one free (and your family uses that item) buy it, and donate the ‘free’ item to your local food pantry.
Offer free labor
Over the weekend my family and I did the grueling task of raking and bagging the leaves that had fallen in our yard this fall. As we were doing it, I kept looking over at my neighbors yard, that had 10 times more leaves in it than our own yard did. And I made a mental note to round up my kids to help him. And sometimes blessing someone with your time versus your money is even more valuable than money.
Provide the ingredients for a meal
This is a much bigger commitment, so perhaps going in with some friends is in order. But work to find out a family who has been going without this year and give them the fixings for a Christmas dinner. I am talking about all of the trimmings. A turkey (or ham), ingredients for delicious sides and of course a dessert.
Be a big tipper
One of my friends rallied all of her friends together to come up with a huge tip for a deserving server. My family and I often around this time of year will head out to a restaurant and leave a 100% tip on a bill, which is awesome.
If you can go further than that all the better. One of my Facebook friends pooled all of her friends together and was able to leave a server a $700 tip. She knew that she would be led to the right person for this blessing and she was. This particular server’s rent was due and she didn’t have a clue how she was going to pay for it.
Adopt an Angel Tree Child (or siblings!)
Every Holiday Season our local mall sets up an Angel Tree booth where you can adopt a local child who needs a little extra help. The things they ask for are so sweet and innocent and frankly make me kind of sad. We try very hard to fulfill all of the needs and work to do as many of the wants as we possibly can.
Do you and your family like to give back, this time of year especially? I would love it if you shared how you give back during the holidays and all year!