I was sitting on my couch last week just thinking about all of the presents I still had to buy & just kind of fixating on the idea of giving. With our budget being a bit tight this year, I started to get a little sad about how much we COULDN’T get this Christmas. But God stopped me real quick. How about being GRATEFUL for all we do have & all that we CAN give this Christmas. So I started researching a little & came up with this little list of ways we can all give back this holiday season!
Donate pajamas at Carter’s
This is actually something that I am personally participating in this holiday season. And one that I probably will do every year from now on. I think this is so cool! You can read more about their mission here. You can go into any Carter’s store & pick out any pair of pajamas, take them to the check out counter & donate them to a child that needs them. Toys are always so fun to give, but some kiddos really need a cozy & warm pair of jammies!
Donate to your local food shelter
Most food shelters accept more than just food items. They also need toiletries, formula, diapers, blankets, paper plates, cups, the list goes on! All great things to give & donate!
Care Packages for Deployed Service Members
If you are apart of a military family in some way, you may have a loved one overseas or know someone who is deployed over the holiday season. Throw a care package together for one of the many men & women who are away from their loved ones. It doesn’t have to be much. It can little stuff. Toothpaste, kleenex, chapstick. Just some things to help them out & give them one less thing to worry about. I found this really cool website where you can put your care package together, send it to them & they will ship directly to a military service member over seas! The website is call Support our Troops. They make it so simple, so that if you do not have any direct ties to any one over seas & don’t have an address to ship to, you can just send it here & they take care of it for you!
You don’t have to donate material things…donate your time! During my research I also found this website called Volunteer Match. You may have heard of it, but I just discovered it. It’s amazing! You basically put in your general location & keywords of any specific thing or place you’d like to volunteer with & tons of options pop up. I typed in “Christmas” & most of what I saw was helping recycle/dispose of old Christmas trees after the holiday. Something you probably don’t think about, but it needs to be done & they need volunteers for it!
I feel like this is one that is beginning to be very popular in our society. Collect toys around your home that your kids no longer play with & donate them to a local daycare, family in need, library, foster home, goodwill, etc. It’s not only a great way to declutter a bit, but it can really make a little family’s Christmas that needs it!
Odds are, you have baked or will bake something this Christmas. Why not make a little extra for your local fire house or police officers? Deliver them on Christmas Eve or Christmas day! They are always working , even on the holidays! It would just lift their spirits to get some homemade cookies during the time away from their families. Also, if you live on base, take one to the gate guards that are working that day. Such a simple way to say “thank you” for all of their service!
Giftcards for Teachers
I’m not just talking Starbucks or Chick-fil-a, although I KNOW those are much appreciated. But throw in a Wal-mart, Target or a local school supply store. It’s nice to give them something fun, but they also spend a lot of their own money buying things for their classroom. Help them out a little!
The Salvation Army
There are lots of different ways to give on their website! You can find them here.
Fisher House/Ronald McDonald House
I have personally stayed at the Fisher House at the Naval Hospital in San Diego. We were blessed enough to come home just in time for Christmas, but we did spend our Thanksgiving there. And let me tell you how amazing the people were who donated so much food & time during the holidays. It helped us feel a little better when our little guy was in the NICU. The families that stay in these houses are all going through some really hard stuff. A small Christmas tree to put in their room to decorate or just a meal they don’t have to cook would mean the world to them! When we were in the Fisher House, someone donated pumpkins during Halloween & we got to carve one with our little girl. It was a nice little getaway from the stresses we were dealing with.
Donate to your local NICU
Majority of NICU families were not prepared for their baby just yet. We weren’t Our little Noah was 3 months too early. We didn’t have clothes to fit a 3 lb baby. We didn’t have his room put together. Heck, we hadn’t even bought his crib yet! Donations are so appreciated by these families. We got quite a few clothes donated to us & it was amazing & heart warming. The momma sitting alone in her baby’s pod waiting for the next feeding time when she gets to hold her baby, who has cords hanging off of every limb of their tiny little body, isn’t thinking about Christmas shopping or what she’s even going to wear the next day. Anything & everything helps! We were also in the NICU for Halloween & someone donated these adorable little pumpkin knitted hats they made. Every baby in the NICU got one. We still have it. It is so special to us! So donate anything! Strollers, carseats, clothes, books, crafts for decorating incubators, knitted hats, etc. Also, send some goodies to all those nurses, nurse practitioners & doctors who are working with those tiny humans! Send a sweet card or some yummy gingerbread cookies! They love it!
Show Thanks to Your Mailman/woman
I got this idea from a sweet insta-friend of mine. She set out a little basket full of water & snacks for all of the delivery services delivering her packages. So thoughtful, right? You can see the one she put together on her instagram page, @holdingmoonbeams.
Are there any ways YOU like to give back during the holidays that I don’t have listed on here? I always love new ideas!