Thanksgiving is a family day. It’s one of the only holidays that hasn’t become over commercialized. It’s real. It’s about giving thanks to God for what we have and enjoying the love of family and friends. It’s about others.
Many families use this day, or days around this holiday, to add to their children’s upbringing by participating in ‘others-centered’ activities. What a great idea and a tradition that they too can carry on. Here are some ideas for families to get you thinking about how you might create a giving tradition around this holiday.
- Buy food together at the grocery store and take it to the local food bank. If possible, participate in the distribution so children can meet those who receive these items.
- Visit a nursing home with other family members. Draw or color pictures and hand them out. Or take crayons with you and draw with the residents.
- Make cards or letters for military personnel. Get involved in Wounded Warriors or other organizations that support veterans both home and abroad.
- Walk the neighbor’s dog!
- Rake the yard for an elderly person in the neighborhood.
- Help with a park cleanup.
- Check an animals shelter website for their wish list. Many of these things you will have at home. Make up a basket and take it in together.
- Collect coupons and donate to food banks, or help with a food drive.
- Help a neighbor shovel snow.
- Collect school supplies and fill back packs.
- Participate in local fund raising events for causes you are familiar with and believe in.
- Check church websites. They often list their volunteer opportunities for service projects for local collections.
- Does your church support missionaries? Send them special thank you notes or fill special requests they have.
- Host a Pet Pantry, City Mission, or other party. Invite friends to bring items specific to the needs of the organization you are helping. Share about that organization or have a speaker come and share. Play games, eat, have fun! Then deliver the items or have the speaker take them back to their organization.
Holidays become so much more meaningful and can become so much more memorable as we give to those outside of our own sphere. Find one way you can give during this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season, and start a tradition that will impact your children forever – for good!
What does your family do for others at this time of year? Please share in the comments below.