10 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

By: Emily Page, Guest Blogger

Every year, I feel like the month of December passes in a blur. As a working mother and wife with an almost two-year old, I want to spend this month being fully present and grateful for all I have in this world. I also want to model for my daughter how to be a contributing member and a positive force within our community. So, this year I am challenging myself to think more creatively about how my family can celebrate the season and spread joy.

hanging-giving-sign-lights

To that end, here are 10 things my family will be doing this month.

  1. Baking holiday cookies with my daughter for our elderly neighbors and hand delivering them with a Christmas card.
  2. In lieu of Christmas gifts for my family members, giving donations to charities that are meaningful to them. We are also requesting a donation in lieu of gifts for ourselves. If you do something similar, consider donating to LSSNCA.
  3. I am committing to sharing good news or a positive quality about a colleague or neighbor each day. I will note how thoughtful, intelligent, hardworking, or kind someone is and make a point to tell them. A wide body of research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a simple habit. By doing this every day in December, I’ll be ready to make 2018 all about spreading more joy and encouragement.
  4. Writing a letter to the family of a deceased friend to share some of my funniest, most joyful memories with her and letting her loved-ones know how much she continues to inspire me.
  5. Anonymously paying for someone’s layaway.
  6. Calling the non-emergency number at my local fire station to find out how many firefighters are typically there at a given time and then preparing a delicious breakfast of baked goods or a casserole for them.
  7. Adopting a child through Angel Tree to make another child’s Christmas wishes come true. LSS/NCA is also collecting toys for refugee children who recently arrived in America. Contact Mira at MendickM@LSSNCA.org if you are interested in donating.
  8. Packing stockings for homeless people. On our walk from the metro to our daycare, we pass by at least one homeless person every day. We will fill stockings with socks, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a fun item to give out.
  9. We see people who work with others every day – at the drug store, a grocery store, or in our Metro station. They have hard jobs and still keep smiles on their faces. For all the amazing people we interact with on a daily basis, I rarely take the time to write a letter to their management expressing what a good job all these people do. I will write a letter every week to someone in management expressing appreciation and recognizing specific employees. (I’m also now realizing what a powerful resolution that could be for 2018.)
  10. Writing a letter to each of my family members telling me how they inspire me and specifically noting the things they do to make the world and our family better.

How are you creatively giving back this holiday season? What unique gifts of time, talent, prayer, and grace can you share with your community? Even a small gesture can make a big difference in someone’s life.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~Proverbs 3:27

Emily Page and her husband Robert have lived in the DC area since 2001. She spends her work hours on the federal budget. Outside of work, she loves playing with and reading to her daughter Adelaide and cooking for her family. She admires those people who live a life of purpose and are true to their values.

 

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