Giving Back At Christmas Time

The holidays are often a joyous and memorable time shared with friends and family. In the spirit of giving, many of us take great joy in exchanging gifts with our loved ones and spending quality time together.  

However, for some, the holidays can be a difficult time. Many families are struggling to make ends meet and giving gifts or sharing a wonderful Christmas dinner together isn’t a possibility.  By acknowledging the many blessings we receive, giving back to the community truly embraces the spirit of Christmas.  Here are some ideas that can help you and your family make a meaningful contribution this holiday season.

Give a Tree
During Christmas time, it’s often the details like a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments that make the holiday so special, but for some families, it’s a struggle just to cover basic needs. Consider taking your family out to collect basic supplies and then buy the family a small tree.  Have your children create or decorate an ornament and set the tree up together in the family’s home.  It’s a special and meaningful way to share the Christmas spirit with your community.

Adopt a Family
Sometimes it’s easy for our children to focus on the gifts they’ll be receiving, rather than focusing on the spirit of giving. By adopting a family, it takes the focus off Santa and teaches kids how to be just like him! Help your child pick out toys, presents and clothes for families less fortunate.  If they understand that not all families can afford giving gifts, their contribution will teach them what giving at Christmas is really all about.

Baked Goods for Nursing Homes 
Baking goodies for the holidays is an honored tradition in many families. This year, don’t just make enough for your family - make plenty of baked goods for the local nursing homes in your area. Some of our elderly don’t get many visitors and will be delighted seeing your family come for a visit with special treats. Store and present your gifts in festive Christmas fashion, using Christmas gift boxes or containers and watch your children see first hand what a little effort can do to bring so much joy during the holidays.

Giving Their Best Toys
Encouraging children to donate some Christmas toys they would receive or their current gently used toys, truly speaks to the sacrifice and the joys of giving.  Team up with a local charity or church, find their need, and see what your family can do to help meet it. While it may be difficult for your kids to do at first, once they see the joy their sacrifice brings, they will know giving truly is better than receiving!

Support the Troops
Remembering our military this Christmas is a wonderful way to give back to those who sacrifice so much for our families. Consider preparing a holiday package for service men and women spending the holidays away from home. Some ideas include finding a clear container or jar and filling them with your favorite holiday treats. You can also use a holiday gift box and fill it with an assortment of books and gifts. Use your imagination and think about the smiles your gifts will bring to guide you.

While these are just a few ideas, the opportunities to give back to the community during the holidays are endless. Be creative and use your imagination!

Try your hand at making Christmas party table decorations. Here's how!