It truly is better to give than receive.
During the holiday season, the Scarlata family tries to make it a point to share a little love for those in need. The holiday season can be a time of great fun and festivities but for some people it can also be a time of stress, reflection and loss. The pressure of purchasing presents can be a financial burden too. This year, we put our heads together to come up with a few small gestures of giving to hopefully put a smile on someone’s face during the holidays.
We find it particularly fun to give when no one is looking. We have sent anonymous grocery gift cards, left money with the cashier at the local deli to pay for a neighbor’s lunch order, paid for the car behind us in the coffee drive thru. But equally important is visiting the elderly, treating those who have made your life a little easier during the year, sending a text message of gratitude, reconnecting with an old friend…small gestures of kindness can turn around someone’s day.
This year–our family goal was to come up with 7 days of giving. Here’s what we came up with:
- Create homemade cards for the women that are living temporarily in our local women’s and children shelter. Every year two Moms in my neighborhood head up an effort in which other mom’s contribute to gift boxes for the moms at the shelter.
- Make homemade sweet treats and spend time with elderly neighbors–it’s one of my favorite traditions.
- Send a little gift package to a friend’s brother and children who’s wife is terminally ill.
- Buy coffee for the person behind us in my beloved Starbucks.
- Send a small gift card anonymously to a family in our hometown that could use a dinner out with him family.
- Distribute hats, gloves and blankets for the homeless.
- ? Please leave a comment and share what you plan on doing during this season of giving. We need one more idea!
When you take a minute to think about it, there is always someone in your life that could benefit from a little surprise love from YOU.
10 replies on “A Time of Giving“
This one depends on where you live, but it’s always nice to clear snow off of someone else’s car in the parking lot (if it has already stopped snowing, leave some on a small area and draw a heart on it).
What wonderful ideas. My family usually serves dinner at a local shelter, but that’s not the same as ‘practicing random acts of kindness’.
If you have a relative who lives far away or one who is housebound, it might be nice to call and do something Christmas-y over the phone or via Skype, Facetime, etc.
Maybe you could sing them carols or read the Night Before Christmas (or other story) to them. Or, this requires more planning perhaps, but if you each have a copy of a same holiday movie (or any movie), you could agree to start watching it at a certain time, then do an “intermission” where you call/skype to discuss your favorite scenes, etc. and then watch the end and talk a bit more.
How about leaving some extra cash at a doctor’s or dentist’s office and ask them to put it towards the bill of a patient who they think could use some extra help.
Donate clothes or shoes to Dress for Success or another charity.
Deliver a meal or acceptable candy and treats to a diabetic, a FODMAP-er, or person on a special diet.
Is there someone who has trouble getting out and about? Offer to take them with your family and drive around some local neighborhoods to look at lights.
Finally, reach out to a friend you may have lost touch with and arrange for a meetup in January…keeps that Christmas feeling of friendship going and shows the person you aren’t reconnecting “just for the holidays.”
Hi Kate-my suggestion would be a donation of pet food, or old blankets, or kitty litter, etc., to your local animal shelter or rescue group.
Each year we virtually “adopt” a cat and dog from a local animal shelter that in turns mails a card from the animals that we adopt. With four animals of our own we can’t take more on in real life.
We bring a load of donated items to a thrift store that gives proceeds to animal groups that care for abandoned, abused, sick and injured animals. I try to time the donations the month or two before Christmas so low income families looking for gifts might find something nice that they’d like.
Oh Beth–this is such a wonderful idea. How can we forget our furry friends? I am such an “animal person” too….And I didn’t even think about making a donation to their cause this season!! That will definitely make my list for next year….and I am sure you provided inspiration for other blog followers.
Wow, your family is incredible! It would be so lovely to receive an anonymous gift, so you really must be spreading happiness, especially to those who need it most.
“Virtual Adoptions” provided to groups like The Elephant Sanctuary, World Wildlife Fund, Unicef, etc., are also a great way to make a difference.
Love this idea, Rhiannon! I am heading to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand next month!! Will need to leave an extra donation.
We plan to bake cookies and bring them to the local fire station.
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