We send all their stuffed animals they no longer want to a children's home every year. They bag up their clothes that they have grown out of and give it to friends who could use it. I personally love this because sometimes I get to see their clothes on the kids in photos and it makes me so happy.
Around Christmas time we do a little more. They always say Merry Christmas to strangers at the supermarket, diner, or on the sidewalk around the holidays. This was started by my son about four years ago. I loved that he did it when we were leaving the supermarket one day. I thought...wow that is something I used to do now with the kids I am distracted and busy so I forget. Ever since that day we do it. It think it is so special that my son thought enough to do this. Now we talk about the fact that not everyone has family or special people to be with during the holidays so we try to be extra nice to others especially around this time of year. This year I asked my daughter to make a list of some things she wanted to do.
The kids also love picking angels off the tree at the post office. My kids have been angels in the past (we all have hard times) and it is something I did before the kids and something I love doing with them. They enjoy picking things out for the kids they choose off the tree.
We always deliver at least three bags to the food pantry during this time of year. We have used the food pantry in the past and I love that I can give back.
This year my son and I headed into town with a few boxes of gifts for a children's party that was happening at a church. It was all new things and it is one of the ways I can give back as a blogger. If I receive things they kids will not use, or win a blogger giveaway I keep the items in a box and hold them until Christmas time. We never had as much as we did this year. The three big boxes were of course happily accepted at the Children's Party. It is a great cause. The children from a special program in the surrounding towns get to attend a party where they will have breakfast with Santa, get gifts, do crafts, bake a cookie, and shop and wrap for their family members. I was able to donate a lot of toys, phone cases, books, DVDs and headphones this year. It makes me feel good knowing that while I can't support these causes monetarily I can donate the things I receive thanks to my blog. I think my children are seeing what my parents showed me and my sisters. We didn't always have everything we wanted but we had everything we needed. My parents were big donators and volunteers. My sisters and I do the same. Hopefully my kids carry it on and pass this onto their kids too. We all have to help each other because you never know when you may need help too.
We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. We will talk to you soon!