10 SUPER SIMPLE WAYS TO FOCUS ON OTHERS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
This season of wish lists and cookie-making is also a perfect time to start a tradition centered on gratitude and giving. Try introducing an activity that sparks compassion and empathy in your children and helps them celebrate what they already have. Doing something for the greater good will make your family feel good -- and make the world a better place, too.
At Doing Good Together, we are grateful for your support. On behalf of our staff, board and volunteers, I wish you a heart-filled holiday and joyous New Year.
- Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
SPREADING THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT
Make a Difference.....
- Pick up The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau to read with your children. The mesmerizing, fairy-tale quality of this beautiful tale is the perfect antidote to the season's messages of materialism and greed. As you read together, talk about the book's meaning and how you can live it out in your family.
Organize the first meeting of your "family foundation." Gather the charity solicitations you've received and go through them together. Decide which causes your family feels passionate about (starting with charities whose goals you like) and think about how each family member can contribute.
Help ensure that everyone in your community receives something special for the holidays by providing gifts for those in need. Visit volunteermatch.org to find an organization that will match you with a family or child for gift giving. Try to find a family with children the same ages as your own.
Think of all the people who would be cheered by your child's homemade cards. Take their creations to a nursing home or hospital, or visit Send Kids the World for the names and stories of sick children in need of holiday cheer.
Party hearty! For your holiday party, ask guests to bring a nonperishable food item, a new or gently used book or toy, a pair of socks or mittens, or other essential to donate to a local charity. Hang the donated socks or mittens on a clothesline, or create a "sculpture" from the canned foods.
Help with a toy drive: sort, wrap, pick up and deliver toys, or hand them out. Or pitch in to buy toys to donate when your family is out shopping. Call the Salvation Army or visit toysfortots.org to see what's needed.
Go visiting. Each holiday, over 3 million people are confined to places like hospitals and care facilities, and 60 percent of those receive no visitors. Your family can lessen their loneliness by simply sharing your time -- and perhaps small gifts or homemade treats. Call a local hospital or nursing home to see about visiting possibilities, or visit holiday-project.org for ideas.
Animals need love, too. Take blankets, dog food or pet toys to a local rescue group. Or make pet toys to give as gifts or to donate.
Gather to make no-sew fleece blankets with your holiday guests. This simple project is especially satisfying in the cold winter months, and sparks great conversations about what we can do to help others stay warm. Take your children shopping to choose fun fleece colors and patterns -- or have guests bring their own fleece. Also consider making fleece hats and scarves or tie-dyed socks to donate to a shelter or crisis nursery
GIVING NOW & LATER
Talk About It.....
Brainstorm new ways to weave service into your holiday traditions and talk about how you might continue giving throughout the year.
Why are the holidays a good time to think about practicing kindness toward others?
What traditions of giving would you like to adopt for the holidays?
Big-Hearted Familie section kindness-themed holiday books
Why is it hard to keep a focus on kindness and giving all year long?
Learn About It.....
Share kindness-themed holiday books with your children. We have lots of suggestions!!!!
"Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love."