Holiday Giving From the Heart



The Christmas season is the season for giving…..although I think children tend to turn it the other way – thinking it is the season for getting!  How do we as parents turn table back to what is truly the greatest gift of all – to give?

One of the most rewarding and unselfish aspects of the holidays is the ability to give to charitable organizations or others that you find in need.  You do not need to look far to find those in need, it is a harsh reality of the current economic situation our nation faces and as much as families try…..they are unable to meet the needs to their families.

How can you as a family make a difference?


Our church has an annual time of giving that is aptly named, “The Arrival Offering” and they have created a website where you can give to make a difference in our community or much further away.  I am so pleased to be able to dedicated a good portion of our Christmas budget to this offering – perhaps your church family has something very similar?

We sat down a few days ago and had a discussion at the dinner table about what items each of us in our family felt led to contribute.  It wasn’t so much about the dollar amount as it was about the item we could provide.  It really gives our children the opportunity to see way beyond themselves and see what critical needs others have.  Some of the items we have chosen to give:  deworming medication, ducks, scholarships and shoes.

Giving Tree

They are nearly in every mall or local town center, those trees decked with tags of children’s names and wishes for the Christmas season.   We have shared in the joy of providing gifts for children who would not otherwise receive gifts, this activity and choice is a fun one, as your family actually gets to do the shopping and wrapping for the child.  We have often picked a child the same age as one of our kids which made it even more meaningful.  If you do not have a local giving tree, you can find a way to help here.

Prison Ministry – Angel Tree

These kids are often the ones forgotten, who’s parent is in prison and even if they have a desire to give their child a gift, they are unable.  I loved the idea of contributing to Angel Tree and helping make a child’s Christmas bright, instead of one full of loneliness and loss.  You can participate by donating to this ministry or giving gifts.

Foster Care Organization

One area we became intimately familiar with was the organizations set up to care for foster children and making sure that they had gifts at Christmas.  Some foster families just do not have the extra income to add more gifts to their list so these organizations really make a difference.  I cannot tell you how blessed we were to receive some items for our little guy during the Christmas season.  If this area strikes a cord with you, I suggest you google:  foster care organization christmas gifts along with your local city to see what comes up for organizations that can help.

By taking an interest in donating and making an extra difference during the Christmas season you will be making this action part of the normal way to “celebrate” Christmas as a family.  You can have fun deciding what organization you will support and what you will give.

I can say it is really much better to give than receive – I love being able to bless others with what God has so generously blessed us with – and when it is a child or family in need, oh the magic of their imagine smiles and joy fills me up!

Children and charity work is not only rewarding, but teaches kids the value of what they have, and the responsibility they owe to others less fortunate then themselves.

You can give outside of just doing so monetarily, Thursday I’ll share areas your family might be able to volunteer this Christmas season too!

Weekly Household Quick Tip


Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner:

Declutter master closet/drawers

This task is always an eye opener for me and interestingly enough I just read a great article on Giving Up New Clothes for a Year  by Sarah Peck of it starts with over on Becoming Minimalist.  She shares her journey of intentionally NOT buying new clothes for a year (except shoes and underwear, as needed).  She had a few great points that struck me, but one in particular:

“I learned, slowly, that having excess stuff was giving me a headache, wasting my time and energy, and wasting a lot of money I wanted to focus on eliminating debt.” [Read more…]

Ways to Teach Children about Charitable Giving


By Isabella York

Teaching children to be charitable is trickier than it sounds.

In a world where the Rolling Stones couldn’t “Get No Satisfaction” and “Gimme More” is more than just a Britney Spears song – it’s a mindset! Teaching your kids the value of giving can be quite the challenge but the good news is that you’re not the only parent struggling with this task. In fact, there are thousands, probably even millions, of moms out there who are also looking for tips on how to get John and Jane to give away some of their old toys and clothes.

As a mom to a six-year-old and a three-year-old, I was recently struck with a realization that my little angels were bordering on spoiled. I knew I was in trouble when my son quickly picked up and strung together words like “No” and “Mine“. But what bothered me even more was that it was nearly impossible to give away any of my kids’ toys, even if they no longer played with them. Every time I tried, it became a tug-of-war that almost always ended in tears on their end, and frustration on mine. [Read more…]

30 Day Giving Challenge


Do you have a heart for giving?

Do you want your giving to make a bigger impact this holiday season?

Would you like to set an example for your children that is more than your words?

Would you like to be part of a larger giving effort to make a BIG difference?

I am excited to share with you all the I am participating in The 30 Day Giving Challenge for 2010. What is The 30 Day Giving Challenge you ask? [Read more…]