The holiday season is often called a time of giving. Really, though, many of us only give to our friends and family. We’ve already talked about connecting with your partner by giving them your time during the holidays, but this week let’s talk about ways you can give to others as a couple this holiday season.
Technically, this week’s strategy in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love, the book on which this blog is based, is to organize a charitable project together. While I think that is a wonderful idea, and certainly could bring you closer together, I want to expand the strategy a bit to include other ways you can give together during the holidays, just in case that idea doesn’t work for you. There are lots of ways to give as a couple!
Organize a charity event
Organizing a charity event sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Obviously, you can plan a huge fancy event together if that’s your thing, but smaller events work too. Here are a few ideas for manageable charitable events:
- Have a holiday party and ask each person who comes to bring a given number of non-perishable food items. Package them up and give them to families in need in your community (your church can give you names) or just give them to the local food bank.
- Invite some friends over to make food bags and warm drinks, then pass them out to the homeless people in your community.
- Call or email people you know asking whether they have unneeded winter coats you could have, especially children’s coats, then donate them to a local charity that gives coats to those who need them.
- If you have children, have an outing with your children and their friends where each child brings a box or bag of toys they don’t play with anymore, and you go as a group to donate the toys and learn about the organization they are donating to.
Reach out to your neighborhood
- Make plates of holiday goodies and take them to people on your street or in your building.
- Together with a few friends from the neighborhood, or even just with your family, go door to door singing carols to your neighbors. Just make sure you don’t go late enough to wake anyone and that you bring plenty of warm drinks to keep you toasty.
- If someone in your neighborhood seems to be in need, drop off a bag of basic groceries on their doorstep when they aren’t home.
- Go door to door in your neighborhood offering to rake leaves or shovel snow for free. Have a charity in mind so that if anyone insists on paying, you can let them know where you will be donating the funds.
Practice personal giving
- Most of the charity events we discussed above can also work as an activity for just the two of you: donate canned goods, care for the homeless, give winter clothes to those in need, choose things you (and your children, if you have them) can donate.
- Sponsor a child through an organization such as World Vision.
- Participate in a Christmas tree program where you pick the name of a child in need off of a Christmas tree in church or at a grocery store and purchase Christmas presents for them.
- Choose an established charity and give a donation to them.
However you choose to give, you will find that your relationship is stronger because of your shared sense of purpose, you have helped your community or your world, and you will have truly embraced the spirit of the season.