12 Gifts of Christmas

Have you ever heard the song about the 12 days of Christmas & how the true love gave gifts? It builds and builds until there’s too much gifts. Yesterday was 12/12 and I was a little inspired. In November, I saw a design that said ‘let this be the season of thanks & giving.” I thought yes! I then promptly decided to give charitable gifts in December. November is ALL about being thankful, but December is ALL about giving! So, I decided to be both thankful and giving. I want to spread kindness and love everywhere.

Ok, decided to give 12 gifts for Christmas to various charities that I love. Normally, charitable giving is a personal thing, I do it in private. However, I’m sharing today with the hope that you’ll be inspired to give too. 

I’m not going to tell you my specific gifts, my specific charities, or specific amounts. But I am going to share the idea + a list of charities I love. So here goes! 

  • Feeding America – this is a reputable food bank network. You can go to their website and put in your zip code to give to a charity near you.  Or you can just give to their organization.
  • A local church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • A homeless shelter – they need socks, T-shirts, hats, gloves, and scarves all the time, you could just drop the necessary items off at the front desk or to the person who answers the door
  • A mobile homeless mission, here in Little Rock this is one local – The Van
  • A domestic violence shelter or organization – here’s the National Hotline
  • Convoy of Hope – when there’s a disaster they appear – around the world and across the country
  • A21 – modern-day abolitionists – this organization battles slavery around the world and across the country  
  • Purina purple leash project
  • Air1, k-love, or a public radio station near you
  • Family life today – this organization has a lot of resources to help your family function
  • Little libraries if you have one in your area – these are small neighborhood boxes where you leave a book and take a book
  • Blessings boxes if you have one in your area – these provide needed nonperishable food  items to the people in need, look in a parking lot of a church near you
  • Wounded warrior project, they served us and this organization serves them,
  • Toys for tots
  • Drop off items at your local animal shelter – blankets, towels, cans + bags of pet food, pet treats, pet toys, etc
  • Write cards to your local first responders + drop off treats – popcorn tins, gift baskets, fruit, candy canes, etc are a treat. These folks are working on the holidays so we can all be safe. Think of your fire station, police department, or hospital. 
  • Drop off books to a local children’s hospital.
  • Write cards to veterans and military members – make sure there’s no glitter. You can do an internet search or use this link for more information.
  • Take some tea or coffee to your neighbor
  • Leave a card + gift for your mailperson
  • Buy a stranger a coffee.
  • Give an extra large tip.

Some gift ideas for your friends & family are:

  • Buy items where a portion of the proceeds benefit your selected charities (Bomba socks & underwear) (the right to shower soap)
  • Buy items from your charity – socks, hats, t-shirts, notebooks, etc and give them as gifts
  • Some charities have a gift catalog where you can purchase a gift for a person in need & dedicate it to your loved one
  • A donation to the charity in someone’s name. The charity will sometimes have a printable you can put in a card to your recipient
  • A donation to a charity that the person loves or by which they have been affected – breast cancer research, American heart association, and the American diabetes association are common in America 

This year I’ve learned the best response to seeing suffering is to do something in response. It’s a tiny thing to drop a toy in a bin at the dollar store or send $5 to a charity. But combined with hundreds of other people doing the same thing it turns into a miracle. If we all do nothing, the suffering continues. If we all do something, we can combine our efforts to make an impact. 

Even if you’re reading this and maybe you’ve already completed all your holiday shopping, you could buy yourself the gift of kindness with a donation to your favorite charity. If you’ve got more gifts to give – consider a gift from the list above. If you feel you’ve got nothing to give, no money left, you can give a prayer. Make a list of where you’d give If you had the money and pray for that organization. If you’re just inspired to do something, any size something will make a difference, and know you’re not alone, friend. 

I pray that the season of thanks & giving will continue now and all year long. If you know of additional charities or charitable giving, leave a comment below. I’d love it if you joined me in giving an extra gift this year. Happy Christmas friends.

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