How do you spread holiday cheer?

Our family is still trucking along with our whole “less is more” Christmas makeover. The girls are loving the holiday activities we’ve planned and don’t seem to care that their Elf on the Shelf does little more than move locations. She’s kind of lazy. However, as we get closer to the big day, I have been feeling like we should be doing something more. As in, outside of our family. I want to do something that makes this time of year more magical for someone else. I also want to teach my girls that it’s something we should always do. Why not make the holidays happier for as many people as we can?

When I spoke with HJ about this idea, it became very clear that this was a much needed lesson in our home:

Me: “Do you want to do something nice for someone for Christmas this year?” HJ: “Yeah!” Me: “What should we do?” HJ: “Push them.”

Nope. I haven’t conquered this vocabulary lesson yet. We got our wires crossed somewhere. So this is now, FOR SURE, being added to our Christmas traditions. In brainstorming ideas on what we could do, these were my top five:

Tree Classics (in partnership with the Easter Seals Capper Foundation) - We could upgrade our Christmas tree and a portion of our payment would go to ESCF in Topeka. Win-win.

Lawrence Blue Santa - We could donate toys and/or money to help the Lawrence Police Department give local families wrapped presents and holiday meals. I have a special place in my heart for our gals and boys in blue. It also doesn’t hurt that my brother is one of them.

Just Food - For only $14 our family could fund a holiday meal for another family here in Lawrence. Food is such an important part of the holidays for my family, it would make me deliriously happy to know that a family has warm, yummy food that day.

DCCCA - Our church was collecting new board games for foster children and would be delivering them to DCCCA for distribution. This one would make the most sense to my still very young children as they could be a part of nearly the whole process of shopping and giving.

Bert Nash - Because mental wellness is something that I, myself, have struggled with, the idea of giving a gift to this wonderful center seemed important as well. They do wonders for so many in Douglas County.

Like I said, these are just the top ideas that came to me this year. I’m sure there are so many other great ideas and wonderful ways to teach my children this new lesson. Care to share the causes closest to your heart? I’d love to find out more ways to keep our new tradition going.

Share them with us below, on the Larryville Mom Facebook page, or tweet them to me @larryvillemom!

(And a very merry, happy holidays to you and yours.)

HJ's first Christmas 2011

HJ's first Christmas 2011 by Megan Spreer

Tagged: holidays, Christmas, giving back

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