For an adventurous season of giving ideal for all children, preschoolers through teenagers, create a giving game with your family, school or church group, scout troop or club to share a sentiment of love, caring, appreciation or celebration. Choose who you are going to share your random acts of Christmas with, such as local law enforcement or fire, teachers, residents of a nursing home, foster children, crossing guards, or residents of a domestic violence shelter.
Create handmade cards with messages like, “You are cared for and prayed for,” or “You are appreciated for the hard work you do,” or “We are celebrating you and wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” A card and a candy cane delivered will make the season brighter for all involved. In flash mob style, get a small group together in holiday attire (or for more fun do it wearing holiday pajamas!) and stand outside of a store and hand out your greetings to passersby. Go through the mall. Prearrange to take an energetic group of teens to stop at a nursing home, a hospice organization or the VA hospital.
Note: This can be designed to celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice or a healthy New Year. Whatever this holiday season means to you, you can share the goodness that is within your heart with others. There is no shortage of kindness in the world, so get creative and spread some joy!
Take it one step further and find people in your neighborhood, school or place of worship who need some holiday cheer. Secretly drop off a card with a plate of cookies on their porch. Slip a card with a gift card on to a teacher’s desk or send the gift anonymously to a family in need. Think of the joy you’ll be sharing the fun you’ll be having with your children blessing others with this new holiday tradition!
Getting Kids in on the Action
Since many organizations have rules that prohibit children under the age of 14 to volunteer, parents need to get creative.
• Young children are old enough and bold enough to ask grown ups they know for money to support a cause if they feel passionate about helping. Teach them about a situation that is understandable and age appropriate, like buying food for hungry children, buying a goat for a village or buying books for a local charity. Editor’s Note: It’s really hard for a grown up to resist a cute little person asking for $5 for a worthy cause.
• Find a local fun run/walk or 5K and enlist friends and neighborhood children to work together as a team to raise money for their efforts by going door to door in the neighborhood (with supervision of course) or to local businesses.
• Have a hot chocolate sale or set up a corner for Christmas Caroling in your neighborhood or at your church. Make signs for the kids to hold asking for support of their cause.
• Recruit a group of children to do a social media campaign to raise attention for a cause. Support a Go Fund Me Page for a local family in need of help.