7 Ideas to help

Christmas is an exciting time of year, and maybe more so when you have children. It’s so much fun to celebrate the holiday through their eyes and experience the magic of Christmas as a child yourself all over again. Having said this, we can easily lose sight of the true meaning of the Christmas season.

With this in mind, here is a short list of 7 things you and your children can do for others to give back during the Christmas season. Finding ways to practice kindness doesn’t have to be a major production. Kindness comes in many different shapes, sizes and forms. Here are some ideas to help/remind you and your children, at any age, understand the true spirit of Christmas so they can apply it in their own lives.

  1. Toys for Tots. Serves families in need by giving new toys to children during the holidays with the hope that this act will help empower kids to see beyond their circumstances. In essence, through the delivery of new Christmas toys where there might not be any otherwise, Toys for Tots seeks to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty. It is always good to explain to your child/children that not every child is as fortunate as they are, so it’s important that we help to give others a nice Christmas. It also helps them to develop a sense of empathy and a heart to serve others.
  2. Spend time with the elderly, particularly those who are homebound or in assisted living.Help an elderly neighbor with Christmas decorations, grocery shopping, home maintenance or simply spend some time with them talking and being a companion. This will mean more to them than you will ever know.
  3. Become a Dollar Store angel.Leave 10 [or any other desired amount of] $1 bills in random spots in the dollar store. If you’re feeling extra kind, leave the little bit extra for tax. Imagine how happy the single parent shopping for kids will be — or the child who wants a toy but mommy and daddy are hesitant to buy one because of their tight budget. It sounds like so little to some of us, but it makes such a HUGE difference in the lives of others who really need it.
  4. Remember children in the hospital or in hospice care.Make small gift baskets for kids who are in the hospital, and deliver them with your children.
  5. Be kind to someone you dislike.Our children are always watching and listening. What do you think they see and hear when they look at you?
  6. Cleanout!Take this time of the year to collect your child’s old books that they no longer read and donate them to a children’s center, shelter or local library. You can also do this with clothing, shoes and other necessities.
  7. Donate the spare change in your car to the Salvation Army bell-ringers.We all have ungodly amounts of change lying around, especially in our cars. Put those coins to good use and donate them! Grab a few coins every time you come across a bell-ringer and toss them into the bucket. It may seem like very little, but all that money adds up quickly.

These are just a few ideas as to what you can do and they truly are not difficult. There are many more things we can do to help spread kindness and joy to others not just during the holiday season, but for all seasons.

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