Tis’ the season to encourage giving, but sometimes it seems like all our kids are focused on is getting! If you are like me, you want to instill positive character traits and I’m sure generosity and giving is high on your list. Here are a few ideas to try as a family in order to keep us all focused on giving over getting this holiday season.
Encourage Giving by Volunteering Together
Local Toys for Tots is always looking for help!
Check with local churches and community centers to see what needs they have.
United Way QC has several holiday volunteer opportunities available.
The River Bend Food Bank website is a great place to locate your closest food pantry and pitch in.
The Red Cross is always looking for great volunteers.
There’s a big need for donations for boys and girls ages 10-12.
Help out at a donation site.
Shop together and donate at a local drop off.
Hold a neighborhood toy drive!
Shop for Siblings
So often our kiddos get caught up in what they want for Christmas. Encourage giving by having them circle things their siblings might like in those toy catalogs that keep showing up! Take them shopping especially for their brother, sister or another loved one. It’s a super simple way to remind our kids that giving is better than receiving.
Acts of Kindness Calendar
We include a few acts of kindness in our Advent calendar/countdown to Christmas. It would be so fun to think of several random acts of kindness, draw one out of a bucket and spread some kindness! Make cookies for the neighbors, pick up trash at the park, do a family member’s chore for them, … the possibilities to encourage giving are endless!
Go through toys (and canned goods!) and donate them
No matter how many times you tell the family that your kids don’t need more toys, you know they’ll still receive some new goodies come Christmas. Clear some space for the new, while teaching your kids about the spirit of giving, by collecting toys they’ve outgrown or don’t use anymore and donating them or giving them to another family who could use them. Encourage giving by making sure they are in good condition! The Salvation Army or a local church or daycare are great options if you don’t know a family in your community. Canned goods can be donated to your local food bank, as long as they aren’t outdated.
Encourage a military family.
Our military families are often financially strained or physically separated during the holidays. These brave men and women who fight for our freedoms deserve to have a joyous season too! You can encourage giving simply by befriending a new family.
If there is a military family in your neighborhood, invite them over for a meal or drop off a special surprise on their doorstep. Here are a few more resources for where you can donate money, gifts, cards and more:
- Operation Help a Hero
- Operation Christmas Spirit
- …and an idea for next year- Christmas Cards for Deployed Troops
No matter what you celebrate, let’s spread a little love and joy around the QC this year!