Posted by: Andrea | November 24, 2008

Put the Giving Back in Thanksgiving

This year I’m honored to be a part of a group of Plurkers who are blogging a Holiday Giveaway. So when NAMG plurked the idea of us getting together and giving wrapped Christmas gifts to a contest winner, I knew I had to be a part of that. So without further adieu, as promised yesterday,

Another way my family gives at the holidays is through the school my son attends. The school is big on giving in many ways. Their Christmas Angel program teaches the kids how to earn money to donate. Then each class ‘buys’ a gift for a family with their money, the students wrap the presents and they get to know good it feels to help others. We make sure to have special chores for firstborn over the Thanksgiving break. Last year’s family received a bike from our class. Yep, 18 first graders raised enough money to buy a kids 18 inch bicycle. I can’t wait to see what we can do this year.

Holidays bring out the traditionalist in me. One of my favorite holiday traditions is the decorating. We usually don’t get out the Christmas decorations til the first or second week in December, however this year I’d like to do it over the Thanksgiving break. We like to put lights on all bushes in the front yard and we’ve got a reindeer or two that find their way into the mêlée. Firstborn likes the spiral trees that light up and his huge snowman that inflates. (Ok I have a hard time keeping that thing standing up, but it sure is cute.) I’ve got so many boxes of Christmas lights and I swear they all party in the summer, hence the detangling fracas that is sure to test my patience.

Don’t forget to enter the Holiday Giveaway today by commenting on the participating blogs. Enter early and often!

Happy Holidays



  1. What a wonderful thing your son’s school is doin. Throughout the year I but blankets when I see them on sale then take my son out Thanksgiving weekend to a local homeless shelter and have him pass out the blankets. He then volunteers his time helping give out meals. It’s the little things we do as parents and adults that help shape the youth into productive citizens.

    We’ll go out the first weekend in December (the same weekend that Rudolph and Frosty are on), get our tree and decorate the house while watching Christmas specials. I love this time of the year.

  2. That is an awesome program … I wonder if that is something that can be implemented here in schools. It is something I am going to have to investigate, for sure!!

    My daughter and I, in our more affluent times (read: all bills were paid, with something left over), would choose an Angel Tree child for every member of our family, including the furry members. If we had roommates, we also did an Angel Tree child in their names. Most years, we did at least 10.

    Tween still goes through her room twice a year: once before her birthday, once before Christmas, and donates any gifts (including new-in-the-box items) she has not used in more than 3 months, or anything she thinks she will not use. We ensure all pieces and parts are present, and then she donates them.

    Something we are going to miss out on this year that we looked forward to doing is the Thanksgiving service at the local shelter. My nephew is an All-Star this year in the city league, so we’ll be there supporting his game. We have already donated food, money, blankets, towels, and hygiene items though.

  3. My son is in The National Junior Beta Club. He’s so excited that this group gets to go ring bells and collect money for the Salvation Army. I always manage to toss something in one of the red buckets. I know it’s not monumental, but it’s my tradition with Spenser.
    He’s donating the pillow and stuffed animal he’s making in his Consumer Education class to a women and children’s shelter.
    Last year we found out a girl who had been his nemesis for 3 years had been put into foster care while her other siblings remained with their mother. He felt so sad for her that he asked if we might buy her a Christmas gift. He made her a Christmas card and, to avoid embarrassment, he slipped it into her locker. He forgave her for all she’d inflicted upon him and she later came to his defense when other kids were giving him grief.
    Ok, enough of my rambling. Sorry.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I love all those ways to share. You ladies rock!! It’s a beautiful thing when we can share. Even in these tough economic times, you all have such beautiful hearts.

  5. Your school does an awesome thing with that program. My daughter’s school has dress down days and when they do you have to donate money for them to be able to dress down, that money in turn goes to a worth cause in the area. We also collect Toys For Tots at our annual Santa Breakfast, admission is one brand new toy for local needy families. It’s amazing what a small group of people can do when they all work together for a common cause. Thanks for sharing, this post was wonderful.

  6. I think it is wonderful that you and the school are teaching the importance of giving in the minds of our youth!

  7. I love that so many schools are teaching kids about giving to others and charity in general!

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