Okay. Thanksgiving is about three weeks away. And while we want to give Thanksgiving all of the attention it deserves, we also want to give Christmas a little attention before too much fun stuff fills up our family’s holiday calendar. In other words, if you want to have a giving to others Christmas, you probably need to set aside some time now to make it happen. No time to think creatively? No need. We have put together some great ways you can make giving part of your family’s holiday season. Because as the wisest man of all once said, it is better to give than to receive.
As you look over our list, don’t go into overload, just choose the giving to others ideas you like, schedule a weekly giving time— or even just one day for the season, and let the true spirit of the holidays fill your home.
1. Ho-Ho-Ho, Surprise!
Let your children choose one of these easy gifts for kids to make and then secretly surprise someone by leaving the gift at their doorstep. Or, take the gifts with you and give to people you encounter during the day – the worker at the dry cleaners, the cashier in the drive-through, or the librarian.
2. Give and Get.
This giving and receiving printable is great because your kids get to first focus on giving to others, and then they get to think about what they would like themselves. The giving options includes gifts of services, gifts to make, and gifts to buy.
I love this one for kids and grownups! Our team at iMOM and Family First did this last year, and we are doing it again this season because it was such a great giving to others outreach for us. All you do is fill a shoebox with items for needy children. Then, you drop off your filled box to a location in your area, and it will reach a child in need. You will need to get started on this idea a little early as the drop-off week is November 16 – November 23.
4. Prayer Jar.
Cut slips of paper big enough for you and your children to write the names of those you know who need prayer. Put the slips in a jar and pull out three or four each day. Pray for them and also use one of the other ideas on this list to share Christmas love with that person.
5. Help the Helpless.
Your children will learn the most about true giving when they give to those who can’t easily give back. Prepare goodie bags for the elderly, the homeless, or for families staying with their children at local hospitals. Include holiday items like sweets, but also practical items like travel-sized toothpaste, mints, and mouthwash.
6. Secret Sweet Attack!
Buy or bake some goodies, get some candy canes or other holiday treats and secretly leave them for your neighbors, the dry cleaner, or the librarian.
7. Drive-Through Dash.
Load your kids in the car and head for a fast food drive-through. After you pay for your own order, tell the cashier you’d like to pay for the orders of the two cars behind you. Next, drive just far enough away where you can’t be seen, but you can still watch the reaction of the people you’ve surprised.