We’ve all heard the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” composed by Fredric Austin. Every Christmas for as along as I can remember my family has done something we call, “The Twelve Deeds of Christmas,” in which we do 12+ things, big or small, in order to help someone else or bring a little bit of joy during the holiday season. I’m not sharing this to boast, but rather to hopefully inspire some of you to start this tradition.
Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa, are approaching fast, but there is still time to help others before the big days arrive. A “deed” does not have to be big, or expensive to count. I thought I would compose a list of suggestions for ways/places to donate this year.
- Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo
If you download the free “Donate a Photo” app, you can upload a photo daily and choose a specific cause for Johnson and Johnson to donate a dollar to. This is completely free, and only takes a few seconds each day. Some things I have donated to through the app are GLSEN, Girl Up, The Trevor Project, Nyumbani, and The American Diabetes Foundation.
2. Bake cookies!
Making cookies is fairly inexpensive and a great way to spread some festive cheer. Giving them to neighbors, friends, firefighters, or anyone in your community is always a great act of kindness.
3. Donate Old Clothes/Household Items
We all have old clothes and things we don’t need or use laying around our house or in the back of our closets. Get ahead on your spring cleaning and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear anymore. Donate them to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other local resale shop.
4. Donate Pet Food/ Toys to your local animal shelter
Cat litter, dry dog/cat food, and canned dog/cat food are all pretty cheap depending on the brand you buy. A selfish motive for me is always getting to look at all the cute cats, and dogs up for adoption, but the donation defiantly helps them out 🙂
5. Buy a Child a Christmas Present
Foundations like Toys for Tots take toy donations around Christmas/ Chanukah to give to family in need. They don’t have to be big elaborate toys, just a little something to help brighten a Childs holiday season. Churches also often take donations for church members and others in the community who could use it, so if you can’t find a Toys for Tots location to drop off, a church might be a good option.
6. Go Caroling at a Nursing Home
Elderly people love hearing people sing Christmas carols. Plus staying around afterword to talk to them really makes their day. Lots of people who live in nursing homes don’t get many visitors, and life can be lonely. Having someone to talk to can really change things for them, and who knows maybe you’ll make a connection and go back to talk to them again!
7. Make Christmas Cards for Children in the Hospital/ Soldiers
It may be too late to send cards to soldiers for this Christmas, but you can always do it next year. However it’s not too late to make Christmas cards for children in the hospital this holiday season. Also donating blankets and stuffed animals can bring a little joy to children who are sick.
8. Donate your time
It doesn’t matter where you donate time, its the fact that you do it. Nursing homes, local resale shops, and homeless shelters, are great locations to help out at. Donating your time won’t cost you anything, and it can be a big help to organizations that depend on volunteers to keep them alive.
9. Skip out on a Holiday gift and ask for a donation in your name
If you like this idea here are some causes I support and think you should donate to
10. Make a donation yourself to an organization you support. Here are some more good foundations if you don’t know who do donate to.
11. Pay it forward
When you’re in line at Starbucks, or a fast food restaurant, pay for the person behind you. This is an easy way to bring unexpected joy to someones day.
12. Donate Food to your local Food Pantry
Many Food Pantries across America try to make Christmas extra special for people in need. They can’t give someone the ingredients to a great Holiday meal without your help. Call the food pantry and ask what they are most in need of, and then make a grocery run! It’s easy if you are really busy this year, because everyone goes to the grocery store.
I hope this list gave you some good ideas of how to help others this Holiday season. I tried to make most of them fairly inexpensive because I know the holidays are costly. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or if you don’t celebrate anything this time of year I hope you have a great day, and do something fun.
Lots of Love,