Has holiday gift giving in your family become an expensive, confusing, stressful and time-consuming burden? Forget all that this year and do something as a family for another, less fortunate, family. There are countless disadvantaged families that will have nothing for the holidays. There will be no money for gifts or dinners, and some are even homeless. These families will appreciate anything you can give. There will be no pressure on you this year because your gift to a family like this is guaranteed to be a hit.
So, how do you get started?
First, decide if you want to include your extended family or just your own nuclear family. Decide on the location of the “adopted” family then put a family member who is from that area in charge. Once the “director” has been chosen, the research and planning can begin.
There are many organizations that offer “Adopt a Family for the Holidays” programs. Some programs have a list of items and a dollar amount that are required. This type of plan is very easy to follow, relieving you of a lot of work and decision-making, but can be expensive if there are just a few of you to split the cost. There are more flexible programs that give suggestions but allow you to make the final decisions. Or, maybe you know a family personally that needs help. In any case, you will get (or create) an informational sheet about the family you will adopt. Include personal information about each member of the family. Everyone in your family should have access to that list so you can decide what you will all give to each person.
Now, go through your house and round up everything you no longer use that you think your adopted family would like. Gather tools, household items, and clothing that are laying around without a purpose. Make sure everything is clean and in good condition and wrap it if you can. Disclose that it is used by including a card that describes how much you enjoyed the item at one time and hope they will too. Buy age appropriate toys for the children. Include entertaining games or videos along with educational items. Gift cards for groceries are a great idea, as well as food baskets. If they have a pet, provide for it as well with a goodie basket or gift certificate to a pet supply store. (But, under no circumstances, buy them a pet of any kind). When deciding on gifts, keep in mind that there are adults, children and the family. They need food, shelter, clothing and transportation. Fun gifts are important but keep in mind their basic needs as well.
Putting it all Together
So, the holiday family has been adopted and the gifts have been secured. Now, get everything to the director and arrange for delivery. Bring your camera so you can record all the joy your hard work has brought. This will be a great memory for everyone to enjoy for a very long time. It is also a fantastic lesson to teach the children in your own family.
Adopting a disadvantaged family for the holidays is the perfect way to bring your family together, give something meaningful, and appreciate each other while helping people less fortunate than you. Make it a happy holiday for your family and theirs!