People are struggling and downtrodden families are anxiously wondering how they are going to afford Christmas this year. What do you tell the child that won’t have a gift, or the family without a home and food? If you’re comfortable this Christmas, then you are one of the lucky ones. It’s time to pay it forward. Nurture your Christmas spirit and open your eyes to the wonderful world of anonymous giving. Help someone in need with these ideas and give…because you can.
Playing Santa Claus this Christmastime
Nikolaos of Myra or Saint Nicholas as he is widely known, became the model for our modern-day Santa Claus with his reputation for secret gift-giving. Parents still foster the idea of Santa and tiny minds around the world, try to sneak a peek of the man in the big red suit every year. We are quick to teach that Santa Claus visits every child so how do you tell a child then, that this year, he might just skip you?
Somewhere in your neighborhood is a family in need. Through no fault of their own, tough times have descended and the despair is palpable. According to SuicideInfo.ca, crisis workers all agree that during the holidays loneliness and depression linked to financial burdens intensify immeasurably. Letting a family know that someone cares can greatly alleviate the negativity and instill a sense of hope, where perhaps there was none.
Don’t give cash, give goods to families in need
Giving out cold, hard cash is not recommended, unless it’s to an official registered charity. Not only can you not control how the money is spent, giving cash is the easy route while a gift that contains some thought and care behind it, will achieve so much more psychologically speaking. The recipient will know that someone, somewhere, invested the greatest gift of them all – time.
Here are some ideas to consider for a family in need:
- a gift voucher for a toy store;
- a gift card for groceries; or
- at Giftcards.com, you can create a gift card that can be applied to any bill, thereby freeing up some much-needed funds for cash-strapped families.
The beauty of gift cards is that they can be sent anonymously through the mail or dropped in a mailbox inside a Christmas card.
Giving actual gifts to needy families
For those of you that would like to invest a little more time in their gift giving then consider these ideas.
- A goody pack for the children of the family. It doesn’t have to be much, some coloring books, crayons, a small toy perhaps. Wrap it up and leave a note from Santa. You might have to get creative on how to deliver the pack anonymously, but that’s the fun part.
- Establish the delivery of a Christmas tree and some ornaments through a local tree company. A local company may possibly throw in free delivery and you can retain your anonymity.
- Provide a frozen turkey, fresh veggies and a dessert. All grocery stores have items on sale at Christmas. Involve your local store and ask them to call the family in question and let them know that there has been a donation made. Many stores will oblige and be happy to help.
- A good idea for proud families that need help and won’t ask is to host a raffle and sell tickets. The prize is a goody basket loaded with much needed items. The only ticket sold will be to the needy family. Sell them the ticket for a quarter. The family will never know that they were the only entrants and a gift won, as opposed to a gift donated, will be readily accepted.
Adopting the role of a secret Santa you have given one needy family a Christmas of hope. By harnessing the spirit of Christmas with an act of giving, you will give far more than you ever thought possible. It’s not what you give, it’s the fact that you gave, and cared enough to do so.