The Christmas season is the time of year when gifts are on the mind of everyone. While it may be easy to get more excited about receiving gifts, I think it can be much more meaningful to give gifts. One way to truly have an impact this year is to choose at least one way to give back in a manner that is bigger than just you and your family.
I have listed seven of my favorite ways to give back this year and I am encouraging you to get your family involved and decide which one (or few) you will choose to spread joy this Christmas season while making the world a kinder and happier place.
1. “Adopt” a family
Chances are, you know at least one family that is having it rough this year and can’t afford presents for their children. Maybe there is a family who just lost a parent or a father who was laid off right before the holidays and they could use some help.
Consider “adopting” the family as your own for Christmas and deliver gifts for each person. Chances are, they can’t afford a large meal, either so you may want to bring groceries or even invite them to join your clan for Christmas dinner.
2. Serve the homeless
The homeless population is a growing issue in many areas of the country. If you have never spoken to a homeless person, you may be surprised to learn that they are just normal people who came upon hard times and ended losing their home because of unforeseen circumstances. Let them know that they are not alone by bringing them a small gift of gloves, food, and a blanket or serve at a soup kitchen as a family.
3. Give back to first-response teams
Take a meal or treat to your local police and fire stations that work around the clock for your community. This is a simple way to show your appreciation for them being away from their families to protect and serve you.
4. Adopt a pet
Pet shelters are overflowing and the sad truth is that many of those pets are facing termination if they are not adopted. Imagine the look on your children’s faces if you brought home a shelter puppy or kitten. Give that little creature a chance to live and be loved.
5. Visit a nursing home
Many elderly people are in nursing homes with no one to visit them. Take your family to visit them and sing carols or just site with them for a while. They would be so grateful to hear the laughter of children and have a visitor.
6. Donate toys
Your children are about to get even more toys to add to their collection, so why not go through old toys as a family and decide which ones they will donate to make room for the new ones on the way. You can donate them to local churches or daycares or even to a thrift store.
7. Treat the mailman
This is the busiest and most stressful time of the year for your mailman, so why not leave them a little treat in your mailbox? Just a little “thank you” will warm their hearts and let them know they are appreciated.
None of these gifts will break your bank, but they will likely change the life of those you give to. Christmas is the perfect time of year to give back after you have been so blessed and it is a great way to show your children the true meaning of the season and to protect them from materialism and greediness. How will you give back this year to make the planet a better place to live?