By Jennifer Halter
Despite the hustle and bustle coming over the next few months, it’s one of my favorite times of year. The upcoming holidays always put a smile on my face because it’s a time where the spirit of giving is in the forefront of the minds of many of us. I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to show our children ways to give to others. Here’s a list of fun activities you can do with your family this holiday season to spread
kindness like confetti!
Donate Unwanted Items
This is the perfect time to clean out closets, garages and those overflowing toyboxes!
Host a Neighborhood Food Drive
Food pantries and groups providing services for the homeless are always in need of nonperishable food
items. Connect with neighbors to collect items that can be donated to local organizations.
Organize a Coat Drive
Connect with local schools, businesses and nonprofits to set up a collection for new and gently used coats, hats, gloves and other cold-weather gear for children and adults in need.
Visit a Nursing Home
Our friends who live in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities love visitors! Have children create
handmade cards or small gifts to give to residents. You may even want to have children bring their favorite
book and share a story.
Help a Neighbor
You can offer assistance with carrying bags to their door, raking leaves or by sharing a batch of homemade
cookies. The possibilities are endless with this option!
Start a Pay-It-Forward Chain
This is a sure way to brighten someone’s day! If you are in a drive-thru line, offer to pay for the person’s meal or coffee behind you.
Create a Birthday Kit for a Homeless Shelter
Birthday celebrations may not be a top priority for a family who has fallen on hard times. You can create a
birthday kit that includes boxed cake mix, icing, candles, a card and a small gift, if you choose.
Finally, and probably one of the easiest to do, is to hold the door for someone and offer a smile! It’s a simple, but thoughtful act that lets the person know you see them, and for some, that can mean everything!
Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas.