Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year. I love giving gifts to the people I care about most. I think we can all agree we get caught up in gifts and forget to be kind to one another. I know we’ve all been in a store and witnessed a rude customer or two during the holidays. My boyfriend and I have been discussing ways to give back this year, and I thought it may be helpful to give a few ideas to you! Some of these cost money, but others cost nothing at all! So whether or not you have some extra cash this holiday season, it is still possible to give back to others!
- Mind your manners. I thought I’d start out with something easy and free. Always remember you never know what someone else is going through that day. So think twice before you give someone an attitude. Being nice goes a long way! Remember that old saying…treat others the way you want to be treated!
- Pay it forward. We’ve all heard stories about secret Santa’s paying for someone’s entire layaway or someone in line behind you picks up your tab. If you aren’t able to spend a ton of money and still want to remain anonymous, you could buy coffee for the person in line behind you. I’ve done this a few times, and I get excited thinking how that will brighten up someone’s day!
- Donate. Go through your closet and look at what you don’t wear. We all have clothes that are collecting dust. I usually say to myself, “did you wear this last winter?” If the answer is no, I donate it! Be honest with yourself! I know sometimes its hard to part with clothes, but its for a good cause. Bag up what you don’t need and donate it to the local homeless shelter. This is essentially free and it declutters your closet! A clean closet is a great way to start a new year 😊
- Give to soldiers overseas. I know several military families who have had to spend their holiday without their loved one(s). I think it’s important to remember that they are sacrificing in order to keep us safe here at home! You can send care packages and other items our soldiers might need to different bases around the world. This website has more information about where to send and what to send: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCarePackages.html It’s also important to remember the families they left behind and help them have a great holiday season too! Check out this website for some more ideas and guidance on how to help! https://militarybenefits.info/christmas-programs-for-military-families-in-need/
- Help veterans. There are many homeless vets that need your help. You can support them by donating money, blankets and other necessities to the emergency shelters in your area. You can check out other ways here, as well as where in your area you can help: http://nchv.org/index.php/getinvolved/ It is also important to help any veteran, not just homeless. You can do this by donating items to military hospitals, help a fundraiser, and more! There are lots of options here: https://militarybenefits.info/how-to-help-veterans-during-the-holidays/
- Angel Tree: Many local stores have trees with paper angels on them, which I’m sure most of us have seen. Each one represents a child in need, typically from a baby through 18 years old.. You can choose one, and the back will list their age and what they would like for Christmas.Usually you’ll bring it back to the store you got the angel from to be collected. Their list includes around 3 different things, so you won’t be spending a fortune.
- Help the homeless. National coalition for the homeless has many ways on their site you can help out in your area. You can donate money, donate items on their “wish list” (which includes items they need to run the shelter), volunteer your time, and more! You can check them out here! http://nationalhomeless.org/taking-action/giving/
Now of course there are many other options to volunteer your time or donate, but these are just a few! Many of these options are easy, cheap, and can be done right in your town! I know many people worry about where their money or presents ACTUALLY go because unfortunately we live in a world where we have to worry about scammers. Luckily these options are going to reputable companies or you are performing the gift yourself! I think this isn’t just beneficial for children but for adults as well. It helps us take a step back and think about others and appreciate what we have as well. I hope you’re all having a great holiday season!
What ideas do you have, or what have you done in the past?
I hope you’re all having a great holiday season!