Christmas - ShirazInMySippyCup

Imagine if instead of buying Christmas presents, we gave it all to charities. That is my wish. Here are some great things to give to others over the holidays. This article appeared on 10 Creative Ways to Give Back to others this Christmas

By ShirazInMySippyCup on December 17, 2015

Christmas is an exciting time of year, especially when you have children. It’s so much fun to celebrate the holiday through their eyes and experience the magic of Christmas as a child yourself all over again. Having said this, I also think with all our joyful celebrations, we can easily lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday season.

10_Creative_Ways_to_Give_Back_to_Others_This_Christmas Shiraz in My Sippy Cup
Photo Credit: Shiraz in My Sippy Cup.

In as much as I love doing things with and for my daughter during Christmas, it’s extremely important to me that she understands the season is about more than Santa, gifts and Christmas movies. I’ve often thought that the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to instill and develop a child’s philanthropic mindset while cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 10 things you can do for others to give back during the Christmas season.

Finding ways to practice kindness doesn’t have to be a blown out production. Kindness comes in many different shapes, sizes and forms. Here are some ideas to help your children, at any age, understand the true spirit of Christmas so they can apply it in their own lives for a lifetime.

Mail a Christmas card to Safyre. If you haven’t read Safyre’s story, check it out. Two years ago, Safyre’s family was killed in a house fire that was believed to be arson. She lost her entire family, including her father who used his own body to shield Safyre from the flames. This year for Christmas, the only wish this sweet girl has is to receive Christmas cards from all over the world. How easy it is to either make her a card or pick one up and mail it? Super easy!

Mail your cards to:
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady NY 12306

Toys for Tots. I’m a huge fan of the Marine Corp’s annual Toys for Tots toy drive. Every year, we take Maddy to the toy store, let her pick out a gift and then have her donate it to Toys for Tots. I always like to explain to her that not every child is as fortunate as her so it’s important that we help to give others a nice Christmas. It also helps her to develop a sense of empathy and a heart to serve others.

Leave a homemade treat with a kind note for your mailman in the mailbox.These men and women provide such a thankless service every day regardless of weather conditions, traffic and more. Let them know you appreciate what they do for you.

Spend time with the elderly, especially those home-bound or in assisted living. Help an elderly neighbor with Christmas decorations, grocery shopping, yard maintenance or simply spend some time with them talking and being a companion. This will mean more to them then you will ever know.

Be a Dollar Store angel. Leave 10 (or any desired amount) of $1 bills in random spots in the dollar store. If you’re feeling extra kind, leave the 0.07 cents for tax. Imagine how happy the single mother shopping for her kids will be or the child who wants a toy but mommy and daddy are hesitant to buy one because of their tight budget. It sounds like so little to us but it makes such a HUGE difference in the lives of others who really need it.

Remember children in the hospital or in hospice care.Make small gift baskets for kids who are in the hospital and deliver them with your children.

Be kind to someone you dislike. Our children are always watching and listening. What do you think they see and hear when they look at you?

Cleanout! Use this time of the year to collect your child’s old books that they no longer read and donate them to a children’s center, shelter or local library. You can also do this with clothing, shoes and other necessities.

Donate your time to new or exhausted parents. Offer your time to stressed or tired parents for free babysitting. Bring your own kids along as playmates and helpers! Imagine being a new parent and having the chance to get out for a few hours to do a little (peaceful) Christmas shopping, have a quiet coffee break or simply get some much needed errands done. This simple act of kindness means so much to parents who desperately need a break.

Donate the spare change in your car to The Salvation Army bell ringers. We all have ungodly amounts of change laying around, especially in our cars. Put those coins to good use and donate them! Grab a few coins every time you come across a bell ringer and toss them into the bucket. It may seem like very little but all that money adds up quick.

These are just a few ideas to get you started and really, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things we can do to help spread kindness and joy to others during the holiday season. What ideas do you have to share? I would love to hear them!

Post originially appeared at

One More….

I would like to add one to the list: Donate to Your Local SPCA or Adopt a Pet from a Shelter.