7 Ideas for Giving Back at Christmas Time
By C'Moms Members
The following Christmas giving ideas were submitted by Christian-Mommies.com members for a holiday themed contest, in December 2007.
1- Collecting Coins
"My son has a special place at home where he collects coins given to him. Quarters are his favorite because there are so many things you can buy with just one, like riding the carousel at the grocery store. Since he was two, I have talked with him about the bell-ringing volunteers for the Salvation Army, and that they were collecting money to help those who didn't have enough. A couple months ago, we went on a shopping trip, and he brought some coins to buy himself something. When we approached the bell-ringers, he asked if I had money to put in. I told him I had no change. He exclaimed that he had some money in his pocket and went right over. I made sure he wanted to put his own money in there, explaining that I wouldn't be replacing it and he did. Now, when we go out, he wants to bring money, even if it's his own, for the volunteers who are collecting coins to help others. It's not much, but it is selfless giving. Unlike doing something 'extra' for charitable giving, he is putting the desire to help others ahead of what he may want for himself that day. His reaction to the volunteeers thanking him is so much greater than the short thrill of a mini-carousel ride, or piece of candy."
2a- Adopt a Family
"Our Sunday school class always adopts a local family that is in need. We all decide who is going to buy what. We make it a point of taking our children and letting them help in picking out our deisgnated item and explaining to them who we are buying for and why. This is one of the ways we teach our children it is better to give than to recieve, and why we do things like this to help others."
2b- "We pick a family who maybe can't afford presents and food for Christmas. And we all go shopping for them as a family and let our kids pick out presents and food. and then we wrap the presents together and deliver them together."
3- Baked Goods for Neighbors
"Bake cookies and such and deliver to the neighbors. Also, leave a package for the mailman."
4- Giving Their Best Toys
"I think that Christmas is a great time of year to teach children about giving our best (the first fruits so to speak). For young children that don't have money to give we should encourage them to pick some of their favorite toys to give away, either personally or to an organization that gives toys to poor children. Explaining to our children that just because people are poor doesn't mean that we can give them broken toys. That God blesses us when we sacrifice for Him... it's not a sacrifice to give away broken, old toys, or even ones that they don't like. When we give to others it's like giving to God. We wouldn't give Him anything but our best!"
5- Collecting Samaritan's Purse Donations from Neighbors
"Got this idea from the post office when they leave the yellow shopping bags in the box to collect food for the shelters---- Why not go around just your area and ask neighbors to put a little something (small toy, toiletries, writing supplies, crayons & coloring books, small Bibles, etc.) into a bag and put it on their doorknob on a specific date. Then those items can be combined to make one or more Christmas boxes for the Samaritan's Purse organization. Almost any church collects them, and some Christian book stores as well."
6- Proving Holiday Dinner to Family in Need
"This is something that my mother modeled for me and my siblings, and we were generally in need ourselves, but when we could we would gather up food for a family that otherwise wouldn't have enough for their holiday dinner and deliver it to them. I specifically remember one Easter buying diapers and candy and food for a family that had come to our church for help, but for some reason were not helped by the church, my mother took us shopping for this family and I remember the joy of making someone else happy."
7- Fill Another Family's Need
"Do some research in your community, neighborhood, church, etc. and pick one family that is really having a rough time making ends meet or maybe they just had a tragedy in their lives of some sort (house fire, loss of a loved one, etc.). Bring them gifts at Christmastime, make them a meal, do yardwork, and/or replace something they need (clothes, broken appliance, etc.). If the family does not know Christ (if you are aware of this), you might include a card and scripture or a Bible as well. This can be anonymous or it can be something you present to them as a family. Pray together before meeting with the family you will help and discuss with your children the importance of showing love to others and giving out of your hearts."