Christmas isn't what it was when I was young. Growing up in a very small community, the closest town with a mall was 70 miles away. Everything that was done at Christmas was done thriftily and never over the top in our little town. I cannot remember going to a mall, up until I left home. My dad however believed in supporting the couple of restaurants near by, the skating rink, and our local mechanic. I could go on and on, it all was local. He put his money back into the town he loved, with the people he loved and lived by.
If we all did that today maybe not so many businesses would be shutting down. Teenagers would be able to make some money and we could help out a single mom who needs extra work if we all thought about it. We could start or, in my case, go back to a tradition that made sense. Just maybe if we thought outside what has became the "norm", the charge card holders wouldn't be in debt for the next several months, if not more. Children may appreciate the gifts if they knew this year we are going to get a book of bowling or Chucky Cheese passes instead of buying that new game. Then those business will be there when we want to go again.
If only we explained what Christmas is really about and showed everyone how helping one person can create a chain of events that lead to helping your whole community. Someone has to start this way of thinking, why can't it be us this year? Let's take on some of the responsibility ourselves. Instead of asking who, when, and how, we just start now making a change. That change is helping your neighbors out.
Eat close to home where the person there really appreciates your visits, use the entertainment close by in your neighborhood or town. In our communities, we can start this year right now making a new tradition, one I know my dad would be proud of. In years to come, it may be brought up at Thanksgiving as one of the "remember when we decided to do that." Yes, a new tradition in a community where you live, with people you know, the true gift of giving back.
If you know a single mom, why not help her, either by trading a day of baby sitting or hiring her to clean your mom's house? Your mom would love it much more than a random gift you choose at a mall. I promise most moms would love having a card with a few days off of cooking or cleaning. Maybe you can even make her an appointment to go to spa or get her hair done. Near the place where you live, someone in your church or someone else's mom may be having a hard time paying her bills. Bring back bartering and trading services, this will help you and others all while being "merry".
It feels so good knowing you blessed someone in your community that will not only help today but in years to come. If that local diner stays open, it may be paying for college educations instead of something in a box, maybe even imported. Make it personal, help keep a business open. In doing this, you end up helping many people, not just a large company on the other side of the world. Help the local salons, boutiques, mechanics, restaurants, theaters, or just the kid next door who you hired to mow the lawn as someone's present. Everyone has these daily needs. Each of us have over whelming days; a card for someone to do the grass is a gift that will be appreciated next summer. College kids need work experience and have tons of talent. Why not hire them instead of sending off a computer to be fixed. Ask the local college for suggestions. Blessing others is what Christmas should be about.
We all need hair cuts, would love a spa date, or theater tickets. Just sit down and think outside your usual way of checking off the list. If you have a tight budget, remember the best gifts are free and full of love. It may take longer to think of a special something. Try to keep it local, it can be done. Remember it was always done that way before, before online orders, shipping costs, and larger cities where we don't even know our neighbor's name. Before my grandma spent hours or days making quilts for all her grand children, now that is caring. I still have it. These things are few in number. She spent her time to really try making a difference. Why not go visit a nursing home where people are alone or take someone who is house bound to church or a movie.
If anyone thinks none of this matters; that's why "going out of business" signs are everywhere. Small towns, where I am from, are ghost towns now. We all move, go our separate ways, forget to teach our kids the whys and take for granted all is going be all right. It has to start somewhere. Maybe that single mom has no family and she would love to get to know you better. Those college kids aren't bad kids, they just need a chance to feel worthy. Make sure they understand life is not hopeless. Things aren't always as they appear. People don't want you to know they may be close to foreclosure, so go give them your business, send someone else and keep our communities ones we can be proud of.
My daddy would never have thought of taking his money outside that small county of 5000, life for him was simple. Friends were friends for life. Your neighbor's name was always known and everyone gave each other a hand when needed. Christmas was more than presents, you could always bet those presents came from town, not shipped in from a place he didn't know.
Things won't change overnight. It took decades to get here. Start now to save our communities and help our neighbors. Taking a step back to help each other would be a great way to start. I'm sure you can come up with tons of ideas all bringing back tradition.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
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Instead of the usual gift of cookies or candy, take about 10 minutes to call or visit a shut in person and it will be the best gift you could possible give. If possible, read them a Bible passage and you will be long remembered.
Instead of the usual gift of cookies or candy take about 10 minutes to call or visit this person and it will be the best gift you could possible give. If possible,read them A Bible passage and you will be long remembered.
Piano lessons were taken one year... so I found notes (1/4, 1/8). When they are playing football or soccer... I find football or soccer items. When we went to Dallas, Texas we brought back little cowboy boots and hats. The kids are always making Christmas ornaments in school. Each child has a separate box, with a recipe card inside of it to keep track of the description of the ornament and the year they got it.
When they leave home and have their own Christmas tree they will have something to decorate it with that means something to them.
I have ten kids: a girl 2, boy 5, twin boys 6, twin girls 8, a boy 10, boy 14, boy 15, and a girl 16. I have no idea of what to get them for Christmas. I want to get them something different, something that they do not have. They already have a lot of stuff like: books, animal sticker book, finger puppets, stencil book, musical tooth brush, pen shaped like a snack, puzzle, magnizene glass, tea set, doll house, potato heads, play dough, a little bike, hobby horse, toy kitchen, trike, doll and stroller, MP 3 players, and video games. Does anyone have any ideas?
With 10 kids, your individual one-to-one time must be very limited. What about "giving" each of your kids a special day with you (or afternoon, or whatever) just for them. Maybe going to a movie together, bowling, shopping, out for a meal, etc. just the two of you.
I have a 12 year old niece and a 16 year old nephew. They are spoiled with a lot of luxuries. This year I have very limited funds. Any ideas? I also have an 18 year old son and am looking for ideas for him too.
Thanks to all in advance,
Aquarius from Ontario Canada
Hi. I'm a 16 year old guy from texas and I am having a tough time deciding what I am wanting. I think that you can't go wrong with money or an american express or visa gift card. Don't make it for one store only though because you never know where you will find what you want. I am really into research for aids, cancer, and going green, so I bought shirts that help support that cause with donating the money I spend to the charities. But I think money is the best option for 16 Year old guys honestly. Hope that helps you out, and have a Merry Christmas.
Looking for Christmas gift ideas. Do you have any?