We are in the home stretch of the holiday season. Of course, I’m not even close to completing my shopping. Part of the problem is that I walk into a store, look around at all the stuff and my head starts to spin. Do my children really need another electronic game, Lego set, or stuffed animal? They might say yes, but we all know the real answer.
So what else might work? Last year, I wrote about giving gifts of time to your family and friends. This year, I heard about one friend who is giving “gifts of time” to the community. She and her husband are taking time off from work and volunteering at a local animal shelter with their kids. They are also “adopting” a family through their church who lost everything in a house fire. They plan to go shopping to buy toys and clothes and essential items for the family. There really isn’t a better gift then giving to people who are truly in need. No doubt the holiday spirit will be buzzing around my friend’s home.
Whether you volunteer at the local food bank with your kids or take your grandchild to the circus or go for a hike with your mother, all are great gifts of time.
Try contacting your kid's school for local community service project ideas, click here to find a food bank in your neighborhood, or click here to find a local animal shelter. You can also check at your local church or synagogue for volunteer ideas.
What gifts of time are you giving this year?
Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.