Create New Traditions: Giving Back That Brings Joy To The Entire Family

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two days per year, when the hearts of mankind opens up and desires to help those in need in abundance! Most often, we look to various organizations, soup kitchens and food pantries to fulfill these needs. This year, create new family traditions and give in a way that is joyful for your entire family.

Cook & Share - Cook a “one pot dish” or crockpot meal. Package it in disposable containers and pass out to the homeless people you see on the streets. This is a great way to get your entire family involved.

Brown Bag It - Break out the crayons and markers and decorate brown paper bags with positive messages and designs and fill it with healthy snacks. Sandwiches, granola bars and a bottle of water. This may not seem like much but any little bit helps.

Essentials First - Many homeless people do not have sanitary goods they need. Create a bags dedicated to females and males. Pack them with Baby wipes, sanitary products, toothbrushes and other toiletries, then top it off with a pair of socks. For some, these items are just as good as food.

Random Acts of Kindness - Grab a bunch of gift cards and randomly give them to people. Allow your heart to lead the way. The popular question for this kind of giving is, “how do I know who to give one to?” My answer is, the answer is within you. You will feel an internal nudge when you see the person.

Love Thy Neighbor -Sometimes we don’t have an opportunity to communicate with our neighbors in ways we would like, due to the busyness of our lives. This year, gift your neighbor with “Fruit of The Spirit” baskets. Simply purchase baskets from the dollar store and fill them with fruit and a simple note. You can wrap it in cellophane and add a bow (available at dollar tree).

Surprise Pizza - Have a meal delivered to family members. No one can turn down a pizza...EVER! This is just a nice way to let them know you are thinking of them.

Think Local - There are plenty of organizations but also good samaritans that are trying to do good and give back during the holiday season. Operation Young Santa is organized by the son of Chicago Blogger Keyonda Pyles (A Real Urban Mom). They collect items, package them and give the care packages away on Chicago's West Side. These kinds of opportunities are great and you see the impact.

The act of giving doesn’t have to be done with an organized group. Your family can create new traditions and fulfill those needs. Chat with your family and create a game plan of how you will give back this year.