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The season which runs between Thanksgiving and Christmas goes by all sorts of names, depending on where you live, who you talk to, and you probably even have your own name for it as well! If you haven’t yet been able to truly embrace the “reason for the season,” as some call it, you might want to give it some serious thought.
Joining with others in giving back for the blessings that you have received is a great way to make it joyful and memorable for you as well. This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids about the real meaning of Christmas.
But just how do you do that? How do you give back without literally taking what you’ve received and handing it over to someone else?
Thankfully, there are several ways you can give and receive the benefits of “giving back.”
Watch the short music clip below with your kids as a quick and fun reminder of what Christmas is really all about. And then, think through some of the following suggestions for spreading the real Light of Christmas within your own community.
Consider these ideas:
1. VISIT A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Kids who are sick need to know that they’re loved and cared for. You can give them that reassurance by spending time with them during this season of giving.
" Volunteers are a big help to families whose worlds have been turned upside down by a sudden illness or injury to their child.."
Find out from your local children's hospital if they have a program which allows you to become a mentor to young patients. It may involve simple activities such as making play dates or reading stories. Other ways to bring joy to those experiencing the fear, stress and uncertainly of hospitals could mean: helping families find their way to an appointment, providing a shoulder of support, entertaining kids at the bedside, becoming a cuddle carer to the very smallest hospital patients, supervising the play area and more..
Your visits will provide much-needed encouragement and bring some special joy into their day.
2. DONATE CASH, FOOD, CLOTHES, TOYS OR OTHER GIFTS.
Sometimes the most direct way to give is to donate cash or goods to a needy individual or organisation. Your contribution can make a meaningful difference in an individual’s life or a program’s ability to help the masses.
There are many organisations that are desperate for donations especially at this time of year. Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is just an example, organised by the Salvation Army.
"The Wishing Tree Appeal encourages those contributing to give a practical gift that will help people in need all year round."
Operations Christmas Child is another popular option. It partners with churches and encourages families and individuals to fill a shoebox with gifts and needs for disadvantaged children overseas. It also encourages the children to be involved in The Greatest Journey- an evangelism and discipleship program.
You will probably find your local church has its own program, collecting and distributing donated gifts and needed items to those who are struggling within the community and beyond.
It’s easy to embrace the season when you realise how much you are appreciated!
3. ADOPT A PET
Taking an abandoned pet into your home is one of the most heartwarming things you’ll ever experience! Animals have such a direct way of showing gratitude by giving back unconditional love and loyalty. Animal refuges and the RSPCA often experience an influx of animals in the centres over the holiday period when people leave their pets while going away for the holidays so this is an excellent time to consider a pet.
You also might like to consider joining the volunteer guide dog development program. These dogs assist many people, young and old: guide dogs for those who are blind or vision impaired, assistance dogs for families of children with autism, and therapy dogs as companions to individuals living with a disability or disorder. Volunteers are always needed to care for, nurture and assist in the development of the puppies and dogs.
4. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Sometimes all it takes to embrace the season of giving is sincere appreciation of all the blessings you’ve received. Gratitude is not just a great attitude to develop, it's good for your health. When you take a moment to look at all you’ve received and achieved, you’ll realise that you have more than you imagined and can then feel free to share your wealth - financial and spiritual - with others.
Use this as an opportunity toteach your kids to be more thankful, too.
5. SPEND PRECIOUS TIME WITH THOSE YOU LOVE
Precious memories with family members and other loved ones are worth more than their weight in gold.
It’s an awesome feeling to let those closest to you know how important they are to you.
That’s probably the best gift you’ll ever give them!
As you can see, the season of giving can really mean what you want it to mean. Embrace it by choosing your own special way to give back to others while giving thanks for all you’ve received.
Customise the season to fit your life and cater to the things that are really important to you.
Taking this approach enables you to get the most out of this season of giving, and also ensures that each year you can make new memories that you’ll cherish forever. Make this year a special year to remember by fully embracing the season of giving is a special way.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.