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7 Charitable Giving Ideas for the Holidays

Dec. 16, 2019

When it comes to the Christmas holiday, no one culture, religion, or even family celebrates in exactly the same way. While families assign their own unique traditions and meaning to this special day, most would probably agree that it is a holiday that celebrates the concept of giving. 

In America, this notion is so prevalent that entire shopping “season” has been dedicated to the holiday, which is largely comprised of the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. All over the country, people are planning to purchase gifts for loved ones to show their appreciation and gratitude for them. Even though adults have the purchasing power to afford gifts, children also excitedly participate, in a slightly different way. If you were to ask a kid what the true meaning of Christmas is, they would likely have one answer: presents!

Gift Unboxing

Considering all the hype, especially with the joyful music, cartoon specials, decorations, and build-up to the holiday, it’s no wonder that most kids absolutely love Christmas. And the gifts underneath the tree left by family members, and allegedly by Santa, is just the icing on the proverbial cake! All that said, it’s not all that hard to see why children get so excited for receiving, but does it come with a cost? 

Unfortunately, lost somewhere in the hubbub of the holiday season, the idea of giving to others can be lost on the smallest members of our society that do the most receiving. As parents and educators, we naturally want to teach our kids to become caring, giving individuals, so what can we do to raise our children to practice giving rather than only to expect to receive? The answer lies behind finding festive ways for kids to give back during the holidays! 


Join us as we discuss teaching kids to give back and find the ideas below for making a difference in your school or community this holiday season! 

Charitable Giving Ideas Your Kids Will Love

As mentioned above, cultures throughout the world celebrate Christmas, and many families look forward to this season throughout the year. However, there are some people who aren’t as fortunate as others, and as a result, there are many children and adults who are unable to afford a proper celebration. Teach your kids the true meaning of giving by trying out some of the following activities that will bring warmth to your kids’ hearts as they discover that giving is just as fun as receiving! 

Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are already so much fun for kids, but they focus merely on receiving a piece of candy for each day leading up to Christmas. Make it more meaningful for your children this holiday season by preparing ahead of time! Have your kids or students write down at least 25 acts of kindness they think they can accomplish that day. Use a few of the following suggestions as ideas for doable acts of kindness: 

  • Holding a door open, or assisting a classmate, sibling, or adult
  • Volunteering for an extra chore or classroom job
  • Complementing someone 
  • Help clean up a mess
  • Make a card for somebody
  • Standup for someone to show support
  • Smile at a stranger and say “hello” 

These are just a few of the many small acts of kindness that children can complete on a daily basis. Plan at least 25 of them and place them in a container to draw from each day. In the morning, simply have kids randomly choose an act of kindness. It will be their mission to complete that act that day. By the end of the day, they will confirm that they completed it by opening a window on their advent calendar, making the chocolate candy their reward for the day! Repeat this for each day leading up to Christmas, until the big day itself!

Santa’s Helpers: Utilize that Elf on the Shelf for Good

Do you have an elf on the shelf? Many parents and even some classroom teachers are using the delightfully devious elf to coax their little ones into good behavior each day. In reality, it’s just a fun way to get kids excited for Christmas! Why not use the elf you already have to spread holiday cheer? 

As you already know, your elf shows up each morning in a different spot. At night he or she “flies” to the North Pole to report to Santa the day’s events. This season add a twist to your elf’s routine! Each morning, include alongside him a note that asks your children to complete an act of kindness. Tell the kids that the elf will report back to Santa each night whether the acts were completed! 

🎄❄ Check out this fascinating Christmas song to fill your kids with the true holiday spirit and teach them the values celebrated at this time of the year! 

Set Up a Holiday Giving Tree

One of the most popular ideas to give back during the holidays, giving trees are always selected due to how easy they are to set up and garner support! If you’re a teacher, check with your administration to see if you can set up a giving tree in the front office, or even in your classroom. 

To get started, decorate a holiday tree and instruct students to bring wrapped gifts that can be donated to a shelter or charity. To make this easier and to encourage participation from the most families, feel free to assign a purchase limit of around ten dollars, and create a theme, such as buying purchasing small toys for underprivileged children.  Throughout the season, watch as the area underneath the tree fills with wrapped gifts. Before Christmas, drop off the presents at a shelter or charity of your choice! 

This idea can also be adapted for use at home if you’re a parent. Simply set up another, perhaps smaller tree in your house. During the holiday season, help your child pick out small gifts to wrap and place under the tree. Before the big day, arrange a trip to your chosen charity office to donate the gifts! 

Go Caroling at a Nursing Home

Elderly folks also love to celebrate the holidays, but unfortunately, some don’t have family to visit them. Bring holiday joy to a nursing home near you, and research available facilities to go caroling! Be sure to secure the permission of staff ahead of time and plan your trip before it happens. If a nursing home is unable to accommodate carolers, ask to see if your children could make Christmas cards for the residents. In many cases, facilities will also allow for visitors, even if you don’t plan to sing carols. Instead, simply visit with some folks and sit and talk with them for a while. Oftentimes, this is all that is needed to make someone’s holiday special! 

Bake Cookies for Police Officers, Firemen, or Trash Collectors

Public service workers are at the heart of all of our communities, and they are the unsung heroes who do the tough jobs that others can’t or don’t want to do. Make their holidays bright by preparing some baked snacks for them to enjoy! Simply prepare a few gift bags filled with baked goods straight from the oven. Then, head over to your local police or fire station to give your gifts! To offer gifts for trash collectors, simply wait outside at the usual time the truck passes through your neighborhood. Go up to the workers and hand it to them personally!  

Prepare a Goodie Box for Postal Carriers and Delivery Workers

Related to the idea above, don’t forget to honor the hardworking postal and delivery workers that furnish your home or school with packages! Instead of baked goods, leave out a basket filled with treats and bottled water or juices to help your delivery men and women along their routes. Include items such as bags of chips, cookies, and crackers to give them fuel for the road ahead. As an extra special gift, help your child write a note to express gratitude for their work, which often includes hauling extra heavy gifts to his or her doorstep! Leave the basket filled with goodies and notes on a small table or chair with a sign outside your door! 

Bake Homemade Dog Biscuits and take to A Shelter

Don’t forget about our furry friends who also need a lot of love during the holidays! There are many homeless animals in shelters all over the country, and your child can bring joy to one in your town! Simply search the web for easy-to-make dog biscuits and get baking! Take them to your local shelter to share the tasty snacks with fur-friends in need! 

Holiday craft ideas for gift-giving are always a sure bet during the Christmas season, but to take your seasonal projects one step further, think about those in need! The activity ideas above are all awesome ways to teach your children about the spirit of giving during the holidays. Pick those that fit best into your lesson or family’s plans, and get started today to make this Christmas the most meaningful one yet! 

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