This Christmas, we were watching our eight grand-children open all their presents. One of my sons said, "Why don't we do something different next year. These kids have so many toys and really don't need all this stuff. Why don't we start a new tradition and adopt an angel or start an educational fund for all the children."
We all discussed different options and decided that next year will be different. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones. Why not sit down and come up with ways to begin new traditions of giving back or planning for your children's future education. Below are some suggestions.
1. Start an educational fund for all the children in the family. My father is the head of our "Holmes Family Fund". All adult family members that are working are suppose to give $5 a month. (That comes to $60 a year), Some members give more. The money is put into a money market fund for all the younger family members for educational expenses. We have 6 board members and all decisions are made through a vote. It works if everyone participates and makes education a priority. There must be a family member that will take the lead and make things happen with reminders, encouragement, and updates. The fund will grow without much effort from anyone person.
2. Visit seniors citizen homes and give gifts, play games, and sing songs.
3. Make handcrafted gifts for family and friends, and strangers.
4. Make homemade goodies for neighbors and friends. (We have wonderful next door neighbors that always give out a Chex-Mix in a decorative can).
5. Come up with creative family Holiday cards to send to family and friends. Make it fun by including everyone on what the back-drop, costume, and theme will be for the family card.
6. Adopt a family through church, school, or local charities. Have everyone in planning, buying, and wrapping the gifts.
7. Plan to visit family or friends and spread holiday cheer.
8. Invite someone to go to church or holiday concert, or play.
9. Plan a time and Skye or call grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins so they can see your family.
10. Go through the house and give lightly worn clothes and toys to local charities.
11. Collect, hats, coats, gloves, and scarfs throughout the year and give to the homeless shelter
12. Teach your children and family about giving back. Talk about appreciating what they have and being grateful.
13. Go to a homeless shelter and give gifts or serve food.
14. Plant a garden and give out the fresh produce or flowers to others. Teach your children and grand-children caring for a garden.
15. Adopt a homeless pet.
There is no better time then now to get started for 2012. That way your family has an entire year to plan for making next year better than any year before through giving back.