12 Days of Giving Back: Making a Difference Before the Holidays

Giving Back Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

It is officially December. And you know what that means? It is the start of my giving back series. Each day this month I will post either a way you can give back or profile organizations that give back. So check back every day to check out ways you can give back. 

12 Days of Giving Back_ Making a Difference Before the Holidays from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Now is the time to fully embrace the holiday season, which also means embodying the true meaning of this magical time of year. There is plenty to get excited for, what with bright lights and joyous occasions to be shared with friends and family. However, what will truly make this season special is by spreading cheer to others. The holidays are about more than festivities and gifts. It’s wondrous spirit also centering on giving back to those around us! Make your family’s December one of paying forward holiday cheer by dedicating the twelve days before Christmas to doing good.

Day 1: Send Holiday Wishes to Soldiers

 Thank those serving your country by writing customized holiday cards. Turn the activity into a family arts and crafts session by making the cards from scratch in addition to penning personalized messages. Get blank notecards, markers in various colors and tip sizes, stamps or stickers, and have your family create holiday themed cards.

Day 2: Run a neighborhood charity drive

 A great way to give back is by participating in a clothing or food drive for those in need. Expand your impact by reaching out to your neighbors to ask for their participation. There is greater power in numbers, after all, and those less fortunate than you will truly appreciate the mass donation during this time of year. Organize a food drive to assemble holiday staples fit for a proper Christmas feast. As the weather gets colder, perhaps a pajama or coat drive for children in need will be your preferred route!

Day 3: Pick out a toy for a child in need

 Let your children take part in the excitement of Christmas gift shopping. They’re probably used to being on the receiving end of holiday presents, so searching for the perfect toy will be a fun and insightful experience for them. They’ll find pride in having been an instrumental part in making the holiday of a child in need brighter this season. You’ll be a proud parent as you watch your child understand the importance of giving before receiving.

Day 4: Host a festive gathering

The holidays are the perfect time to engage in quality bonding with friends and family. Host a dinner or festive movie night in order to show your appreciation for their part in your life. There are plenty of Christmas movies available that are sure to get your loved ones in the spirit. Nothing shows a friend that you care like cozying up away from the cold with delicious holiday movie snacks.

Day 5: Make a meal for a neighbor

 Perhaps you know of a neighbor who has suffered a loss in the family, is older and can’t cook for themselves as easily, or is simply overwhelmed by work and holiday errands. Taking the time to prepare them a home cooked meal is a delicious way of letting them know you’re thinking of them.

Day 6: Get on snow patrol

 Next snowfall, go the extra mile and help shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk or steps. This is especially helpful if they’re elderly or have little kids to watch after and can’t find the time or energy to make it outside. Make shoveling a family affair to turn a snow day chore into a fun bonding activity.

Day 7: “Bake” for those who serve the community

 Get some holiday use out of your kitchen by baking up some holiday sweets for your local community members. Make trays of mess-free, no-bake cookies and desserts for your local fire and police station as a thank you for all of their services throughout the year.

Day 8: Donate your company

 There are plenty of opportunities to bring festive cheer to those in nursing homes or 55 and older complexes. Some residents are without nearby relatives or could use a little holiday company to make their day a little brighter. Check in with the local institutions to see if you can spend a little quality time with a friendly face.

Day 9: Find furry friends a home

 Team up with a local rescue shelter to help find good homes for animals in need. There are plenty of sweet animals in search of a loving home, and your family can help others know that adoption is the best option when shopping for a furry member to add to their household.

Day 10: Send a sweet surprise to a friend

Help your child bring their gift of giving into their school. Create small holiday goodie bags with fun school supplies like festive pencils, erasers, or stickers and have them pass them out to their classmates. Receiving just a small token of friendship will bring a little holiday excitement to their peers.

Day 11: Do a seasonal sweep for the greater good

 When we have an abundance of things, it can be easy to lose sight of the value in it all. While you may be very fortunate to have lots of warm clothes or comfortable furniture, there may be a family less well off than you that may find a greater appreciation for it. As you go to do your seasonal clean out of your home and closet, take a moment to contact local organizations that accept second-hand items in good condition to recycle to families in need. 

Day 12: Earn to give

 Take some time this season to help your children experience the rewarding feeling of working to make a difference. Help your child choose a charity they are passionate about, and promise to pay them x-amount of dollars per chore they complete during the week. The catch is- all the proceeds from the money they earn will be donated to their chosen charity. This will give them a positive incentive to help out around the house while also helping others!

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