Today’s post is the first of the “Week of Christmas” posts. My goal is to write one post each day this week that pertains to my favorite holiday!
There’s a lot of great things about Christmas – decorating, cookies, times with family and friends, Christmas movies, festive decor, celebrating baby Jesus and people’s generosity. As I get older I notice people’s generosity more often and I, too, want to help give back to my community. While I’ve always known that I’ve been blessed with the live I’ve had, as I mature I realize that it’s much more important to share those blessings with those who might not be as fortunate.
I realize there are many ways that I can give back to my community this holiday season – volunteering to serve food at a homeless shelter, perform Random Acts of Kindness, volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, adopt a family or donate to a local charity. While all of these are great ways to give back, this year I’m focusing on donating to a local charity – Toys for Tots.
There are a couple of reason I chose to donate toys to Toys for Tots:
1. I believe every child deserves to have that feeling on Christmas of pure joy and excitement.
2. I know how blessed I was each Christmas when I was a kid; I’d like to pass that blessing on.
3. I just really love shopping and I really enjoy shopping for toys.
Each year my full-time job puts on a toy drive for Toys for Tots, which is another reason why I chose this charity this year – it’s convenient [I know, that’s terrible]. Each year I’ve been employed there they always request that donations include toys for teens as they tend to run out of those items first. So this year that’s the age group I’ve chosen to focus on. But I totally didn’t realize how hard it can be to shop for teenagers. If you think about it, teenagers have begun to figure out who they are and what they’re interested in [much more than a pre-school or elementary aged child] so finding items that aren’t too hobby-specific can be tough! I mean, you want kids to like what you’re buying!
I thought a lot about different items to get teenagers – both girls and guys because they are obviously going to have different interests as they get older. I pulled together some ideas to share with you, in case I’ve inspired you to donate to your local Toys for Tots organization. All of these gifts are under $20, which most hovering between the $13-$16 range. I’ve looked for gifts around this price range because I feel I can get more gifts for more children… always a plus.
I purchased a few of these items on Black Friday which has allowed me the opportunity to buy a few more gifts than I was planning. I definitely think it was a lot easier to come up with 7 ideas for girls – guys can be so tough [but that’s probably because I’m not one]. I tried getting ideas from the hubs on what guys like, but all he could give me was video games and sports stuff. I’m no expert, but I am thinking gaming consoles aren’t top priority for families who are struggling financially. And as for sports apparel, that’s a tricky one because you never know what team a teenager will cheer for. Choices, choices.
Well I hope today’s post has provided you with some inspiration to get out there and give back to your community this holiday season, whether that be donating to Toys for Tots [or Toys for Teens as I’m calling it], volunteering, providing care packages for our service men and women across seas or some other way. There’s only 22 shopping days left before the big day; I’d recommend checking out the last-minute Cyber Monday deals before time runs out! 🙂