- Babysit for a single mom
- Teach compassion with a Family Giving Box
- Write a Family Mission Statement
- Bake cookies for your local fire dept.
- Pick up trash at local park as a family field trip
- Create snack packs for Ronald McDonald residents
- Welcome a new family to the neighborhood with a dessert and introduction
- Pray for the poor of the world
- Color a Smile-print coloring page to be given to lift someone in need up
- Make a baby care kit for a baby in need
- Take time each week to unplug as a family
- Donate your time or treasure to the Make a Wish Foundation
- Appreciate your church staff in some small, tangible way
- Do yard work for an elderly neighbor
- Make a Life Book for a child in Foster Care
- Read You Were Made to Make A Difference as a family
- Volunteer to cuddle babies at the hospital (older kids/teens are often allowed also)
- Read Christmas Jars as family
- Save loose change in a jar and give to a needy family at Christmas
- Take a family volunteering vacation
- Stop and say thank you to grocery clerks, waitresses. Ask them how they are doing.
- Become a monthly sponsor to help pregnant girls in Kenya
- Make a birthday cake for an underpriviledged child
- Serve at home: make each other’s beds, clean up someone else’s mess
- Write thank you notes to people who serve you: postman, yard guy, doctor, etc
- Sponsor a child monthly (cannot recommend enough)
- Make relief kits for disaster relief victims
- Sew a sleeping bag for someone in need (easy pattern)
- Volunteer at a non-profit
- Make up some Hygiene Bags to pass out to local homeless people
- Take your family on a tour of Red Cross
- Put a monthly date on the calendar for a Family Service Night
- Take a meal to a new family
- Create a card for Habitat for Humanity new home owner
- Encourage your older children to be a Mother’s Helper to a mom with young kids
- Fill a backpack to help give a homeless person a lift up
- Make birthday cards and deliver them to a local nursing home monthly
- Donate books to Africa
- Take your kids to a local Food Pantry with canned goods to donate
- Deliver food for Meals on Wheels
- Pray as a family on a regular basis for the people in your life.
- Donate your hair to Locks of Love.
- Give blood. (Take your kids with you and explain the importance).
- Donate nice toys to cancer ward at a Children’s Hospital
- Buy a mosquito net and help prevent malaria
- Randomly celebrate each other with a special treat, meal, time
- Donate school supplies to a classroom in need
- Compliment and thank the teachers in your life
- Buy a soccer ball for a child in poverty
- Give a used bike to a homeless person
- Donate coloring books/crayons to hospital emergency rooms
- Host a 40 hour famine in your home (fast something!)
- Give clothes to a family in need (call your church/school to find one)
- Read to a special needs child
- Only drink water for 2 weeks, give proceeds for clean water
- Buy a goat for a family in extreme poverty
- Give a donation in someone’s name to an organization you believe in
- Send your used shoes to Reuse-a-Shoe
- Become Certified Respite Caregivers to give Foster Family’s a babysitting
- Decorate a Christmas tree at an elderly person’s house
- Hold a collection drive: makeup, lotions, etc for women at a shelter
- Find a Food Bank near you to volunteer
- Deliver fresh fruit/veggies to children at a homeless shelter
- Offer your pet for therapy to the elderly
- Decorate nursing home rooms of residents with homemade art
- Have regular “family nights” with games, ice cream, time together
- Visit the NICU with treats for the doctors and anxious parents
- Write to unsponsored children
- Read to patients at a local hospital
- Plan a family missions trip
- Bake cookies, host a bake sale and donate money to the poor or a cause
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter
- Plant a garden and share the produce
- Hold a drive for lightly-used stuffed animals for police stations SAFE program
- Write letters to servicemen
- Give a micro loan and change a family in a third world country
- Smile. At everyone.
- Make care packages for children in the hospital
- Instead of a birthday gifts, ask for donations for a charity or food for a food pantry
- Shop fair trade
- Offer to decorate hospital hallways during the holidays
- Ask your city about volunteering to remove graffiti
- Host a Lemon-AID stand and donate proceeds Blood Water
- Make no-sew fleece blankets for Hospice
- Collect pencils for African children
- Send a care package to our military
- Read the Bible together as a family every day
- Collect shoes for Shoes for Kids (started by an 11 year old girl)
- Let kids choose a charity to donate to for one of their Christmas gifts
- Become a foster family
- Pay for someone’s drink in Starbuck’s drive-thru. Make sure your kids enjoy the act of kindness.
- Help your kids starts a neighborhood or school Bible Study with their peers
- Volunteer to plant flowers for your school/church flowerbeds
- Make a Care Bag for a child in need
- Welcome home a hero at the airport
- Complain less
- Start a Kindness Club with your family
- Let your light shine!
- Look for opportunities to be the difference in someone’s life
- Host a virtual food drive
- Start a KidzRap on your street!
- Purchase gifts through families fundraising for adoption.
- Make a quilt for NICU familes
- Pay the toll for the car behind you
- Invite friends to Vacation Bible School
- Help keep families together
- Take someone flowers from your garden
- Participate in Operation Christmas Child
- Make Valentine’s Gifts for the elderly at our local care center.
- Send a care package to our military.
- Buy restaurant gift cards and distribute to the homeless on street corners.
- Collect items for restoration bags for girls coming out of trafficking.
- Prepare New Mommy Blessings bags for our local Pregnancy Resource Center (newborn baby supplies (diapers, rash cream, toy, gender neutral outfit, burp cloth), new mom care items (nipple cream, lotions, etc), wrapped in a cute baby blanket or receiving blanket)
- Bake cookies for our local Fire Department.
- Pick up trash at local park as a family field trip.
- Fill Action Packs for the persecuted church (via Voice of the Martyrs).
- Adopt an foster child for Christmas through Angel Tree.
Monthly Archives: February 2012
From Proactive Parenting
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will. Mama
In my quest to make holidays meaningful for my family, I find myself researching age appropriate crafts for my kids to make as gifts and decorations.
I found this easy Valentine’s Day craft on Surviving Motherhood and made one with my 4-year old. She loved it and plays with it and it is a cute reminder of our love for each other.
While I love the idea of passing out Valentine’s cards as a way to take a moment to show each and every person your love and appreciation, I am not a fan of the cookie-cutter 30-per-box punch-out cards (now with candy!) that are commonplace today. Here a few creative alternatives: