20 Ways to give back this Christmas!

I love any chance to give back, but during the Holidays it’s something I think about even more. The holidays are such a bright and festive time of year, a time for fun and cheer, for singing and laughing with loved ones and a time to give and receive. I have been incredibly blessed and have so much to be thankful for this year! Christmas for me has always been a beautiful time of year, but for some, it isn’t a time of cheer. For some the holidays don’t bring the same festive spirits, but instead a sense of anxiousness and sometimes even sadness. For some, the holidays can bring a loneliness as they watch others enjoying the time with friends and family, so why not take this time to try and give back, spread just a little more cheer. I’ve come up with some great ways you can give back this Christmas season and not only will you bring someone else a little more cheer, but you’ll be feeling a lot more excited for Christmas too. Giving is so much better than Receiving.

  1. Buying coffee or a meal for the car behind you!

This is such an easy way to make someones day or even week. I absolutely love doing this for others every once in a while and just the other day someone did it for me. It just makes you happy and it’s such an easy and convenient way to pay it forward. And being on the other end of the gift this week really brightened my day!

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2. Paying for a families meal!

I haven’t had the chance to do this one yet, but I just love the idea of paying for a families meal while out to eat. The thought of surprising the family makes my heart so happy! And again, you never know what an incredible blessing that could be for a family!

3. Serving others at a Soup Kitchen!

What an incredible way to give back to others in need and to share a little kindness and some of your time. I have always thought about when Dave and I have a family making this a tradition that we do every once in a while to keep us humble and serving our community. Sometimes people just need a friendly face and a chance to tell their story or talk with someone who will be kind enough to listen.


The kitchen http://www.thekitcheninc.org/

Victory Mission https://www.victorymission.com/purpose-history/

4. Give Blood or Plasma

You can check with the Red Cross to find a drive near you. In Springfield, check the Ozark blood drive. It takes barely any time and no money, but you may be saving someones life!

CBCO’s 24th annual Miracle of Giving Blood Drive takes place December 10, 2018 through January 6, 2019 at all four of CBCO’s donor centers and mobile blood drives.*

Participants in our Miracle of Giving Blood Drive 2018 will receive this free long-sleeved T-shirt to let everyone know that you’re proud to help patients at 40+ hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and southeast Kansas. Find more info here http://www.cbco.org/miracle2018/

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5. Adopt a boy or girl from the Salvation Army Angel Tree or a Tree at a church

This is seriously one of my favorite things to do! Every year our church has name tags they place on the alters in pink and boy, signifying the sex of the student. These names are all the students at a couple of the schools in the neighborhoods around the church. I used to only get a boy and a girl, but I just love buying gifts for this kiddos so much that I am up to 3 of each now, so 6 kiddos altogether. The tags usually say the students name and age. The tags on the Angel trees usually give the name, age and want/need of the student. I always longed to see the kids open their gifts, but since I’m a teacher and usually in school when they would distribute the gifts, I just have to imagine how excited the kids are and how happy they are when they open their gift and see what they received.

 The Angel Tree Program is a Christmas assistance program for families who need help to provide gifts and basic needs for their children at Christmas time.

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6. Buy someones gas for them

Gas can be kind of pricey sometimes and what if someone paid for you to fill up your tank? Wouldn’t you be excited??! I know I would be!

7. Offer to help someone clean their house or watch their kids

We all get super busy during this time of the year and sometimes something as simple as offering to help clean someones house or watch their kids could be the biggest blessing. Parents are still trying to find time to get  Christmas presents for their kids without them finding out what they are getting and offering to watch the kids so the parents can go out Christmas shopping , could be such a help. One of my friends a couple months ago hurt her back and my friends and I offered to help her clean her house. It meant so much to her and helped her in so many ways!

8. Purchase gifts from companies who support charities

I love stores like 5 pound apparel, toms, ABLE  who are giving back a portion of their proceeds to help others in need. Not only are you buying a great gift to give someone, but you’re helping give back too.

Five Pound Apparel

9. Donate or choose to support a student through Compassion or Holt international

Dave and I have a couple kids that we support from around the world and I love knowing that by me sending $20-$30 a month, I get to help them thrive! I get the chance to help them with their studies and making sure that they have food to eat and are taken care of. I also love getting feedback from the companies and getting letters from the kids.

10. Go to the nursing homes and bring wreaths to hang or buy some pretty poinsettias to spruce the place up and bring some cheer and beauty to the nursing homes. 

11.  Go and perform for a retirement home!

I love doing this every year! I play violin and I love to go and perform for the residents at the retirement homes.  For the last six years I’ve been taking my students from school  and my private violin/ viola studio to perform at local retirement homes.  It means so much to the residents and I love seeing how it touches my students’ hearts.

Image may contain: 4 people, people on stage and indoor

12. Leave a special treat,  gift card, or thank you cards for teachers! Tell the  teachers in your kids lives or even your own life how important they are and how much you appreciate them. Teaching can be a very trying profession and a very thankless job. Reminding a teacher of how important they are and how they are impacting your son/ daughters or even your life will mean more than you could know.

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13. Donate your coats! There are lots of places to donate your coats, but a really great option would be to the organization One Warm Coat.  One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need.

14. Pay for someones groceries! This time of the year can be really hard for some, especially financially. If you have the means to help someone by giving them money for food or through purchasing their groceries for them, do it… you’ll feel so amazing and you will have blessed someone.

15. Pay off people’s layaway tickets at Walmart. Pay off random toys for different families. Finances can be hard to come by during the holiday season and knowing that you are helping a family purchase gifts for their family will give you such a joy.

16. Write letters and cards to those in the military and/ or retirement homes! You can send some Christmas cheer to some men and women on the military basses  that may not get to see their families for Christmas.  Or sending beautiful Christmas cards, with lovely messages to an elderly man or woman who may not have family near by, could brighten up their day and holidays.

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17.  Go to the local pet shelters and give the pets some loving! Take some dogs out on a walk, or bring them some special treats for Christmas.  You can even donate to help save more lives! Give back multiple ways  Here

18. Leave  $5 starbucks giftcards in random locations around your city for people to get a cup of coffee on your!

19.  Buy a family in need a full Christmas dinner or Christmas Ham/ Turkey! Cracker Barrel has some incredible dinners for holidays, or you could make the food yourself and deliver it to the family.

Heat n' Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go

20. Smile and be Kind to everyone you see! Kindness is something that the world always needs, but a simple smile may be the very thing to change someones holidays! As you pass others at the mall shopping or out to eat, or during your normal commute to work, take a little extra time to smile and maybe chat for a bit. Smile and be cordial to all the employees at all the stores… this is a crazy season for stores and their employees and sometimes giving a word of encouragement can lift their spirits.

It is more blessed to give than to receive- Acts 20:35, and the greatest gift of all was the gift God gave us, many years ago, in the form of a babe wrapped in swaddling clothe and lying in a manger. Remember to be thoughtful this Christmas! I hope I was able to give you some fun ideas or thoughts on how you might give back this Christmas.

Stay Kind and Fashionable,

Erin Ruscel

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