“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings
and seek out ways to make life better for thos around us.”
This is a post I shared last year but it is one of my favs that I felt needed to be shared again this year. I would love to hear if and how you give back during the holidays!
Christmas is upon us, and lists are flying all over the place! Everyone child is writing to Santa, and every adult a list of dreams. Do you remember how magical Christmas was as a child? The lights, the tree, the cookies, the gifts! Everything was full of wonder and joy. Over time you grew up and the day became less about receiving and more about giving.
As we approached this Holiday season and my husband and I began discussing gifts I realized- we are so blessed, we have everything we need and want. I might write a Christmas Lust List, but I really have no need for anything. My husband and I decided to give our Christmas away. Instead of buying ourselves, and each other gifts we have adopted children in the area to give them a Christmas they will never forget.
To do this, chose the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. It’s the absolutely amazing! Each child has a paper ornament with their name, top three items on their list, and their clothing sizes. The children are located in the area. According to the spokesperson we spoke with, the children we chose are located in local homeless shelters.
I can’t tell you how much joy I received from shopping for these children, more than any present I could have possibly found under the tree. We purchased each child’s wishes (from Barbies, to remote control helicopters, and even a bike), warm clothing for the season, filled each a stocking, and thought outside the box of gifts to bring them smiles. My heart breaks for each one of them, and giving them a Christmas seems so little in the grand scheme of things, but you never know what little thing God will turn into so much more. The children we shopped for have been on my mind and in my prayers constantly.
I couldn’t have imagined going into this season how giving Christmas away would bless mine and my husband’s lives, but I encourage each of you to remember the true reason for the season and to help other’s in any way possible. You don’t have to give your Christmas away- hold the door for a stranger, wish a neighbor Merry Christmas, call an elderly relative. There are so many little things you can do to bring joy to others this season.
My husband and I chose Angel Tree because it helps local children,
but there are so many organizations one can get involved with.
Toys for Tots is a wonderful non-profit charity where you get to have all the fun of choosing a toy (come on, even as an adult you loveeee Toys’R’Us!), and the children get to have their Christmas wishes come true. There are various drop off locations all over the country, many in banks and stores near you.
I have worked with this organization ever since I was a small child. If you have children of your own I really suggest doing Operation Christmas Child. This one supports children around the world! You pack a shoebox with gifts, such as toiletries, stuffed animals, drawing tools, toy cars, jewelry (I include a flashlight in every box!) for a specific age group (boy or girl).
It’s a challenge to pack everything in a shoebox (come on ladies, we buy so manyyyyy shoes throughout the year- this is an amazing way to give back), but fun to put as much as possible in each. After packing the box, you attach a label which is scanned through the organization so you can see where your shoebox ends up! Also, you can create a generic box and choose which items to put in via their website. (You can do this anytime throughout the season!)
OCC is by the Samaritan’s Purse. Another option Samaritan’s Purse provides is sending anything from digging a well, to gifting a goat, or a care for a pregnant woman and her child. My grandmother and cousins were tickled pink last year when we donated chickens and a cow in their names! They have so many wonderful options I can’t list them all here, but please please please take a peek at their website and make a donation in your name, or for someone on your gift list.
I am so blessed to be able to help local children but to still enjoy all of my favourite things of the season: the tree, the tunes, the food, and my family. I hope each of you reading has an equally blessed holiday season full of love, and hope, and joy.