Holiday Traditions - Reinvented

posted December 16, 2019 in Blogs

Most families have traditions they partake in this time of year. Things like visiting Santa, chopping down a tree to decorate, baking cookies, or reading The Night Before Christmas. But sometimes with the intense hustle and bustle the holidays bring, we can forget about spreading cheer to those in need.

The season of giving can be infectious, but making it a priority each and every year can spark magic inside yourself and your family. There are also things many of us naturally do that can have a great impact on others with just a hint of extra effort.

For example, it’s typical for families to pack away older kids toys to make room for new, but instead of making a pile in the closet, consider those who have never felt the true magic of Christmas. Taking a sweep through your house or play room and choosing to donate toys that are no longer being used is a great way to kick off the season. This will not only positively impact children in need, it is also a wonderful opportunity to teach your kiddos the importance of giving and the effect it can have on others, as well as themselves. Don’t have any toys you’re able to part with? Consider setting a budget with your kids and have them tag along with you to pick out gifts for a local toy drive, giving tree, or maybe for the elderly neighbor next door!

While you’re already cleaning out your toy bins, why stop there? Consider donating clothing, coats, shoes, toiletry items, etc. to a shelter near you. While second-hand stores are typically easier to point out driving around town, shelters are the perfect way to directly impact someone in need. Some organizations even have lists online of items in high demand that would be of most benefit to them. Have old blankets, sheets, or pillows? These can usually be used to comfort animals housed in animal shelters, too!

Beyond the contribution of physical things, getting away from your usual routine and spreading joy and kindness can reset your perspective going into the new year. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, food bank, shelter, nursing home, Habitat for Humanity, etc., your time is precious to them.

Our last tip, which we would shout from the rooftops if we could – AmazonSmile. Who does a lot of their shopping on Amazon? Not just for the holidays, but all throughout the year? We definitely do. By making the minor adjustment of visiting and purchasing through, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. You can choose from over one million organizations. Anything from the Sloth Captive Husbandry Center in Oregon to a local FFA Chapter here in central Iowa. A great way to give back to a charity who supports a passion you have, with no extra work on your part.

There is always room for more holiday traditions and we hope you find one that excites you and your loved ones this year! Share how you give back with us, we’d love to hear from you!

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