Giving Back Guest Post

Today I'm excited about this guest post by a teacher I met in my #teacherfriends Twitter chat. Travel back with us in time; what do you get for the elderly family members and friends in your life at holiday time? 
Welcome Elena with some creative ideas.

Giving Back On Christmas Eve by Elena Burdette 
The following idea was inspired by thriftyfun.com articles {here} and {here}. 

This year our family will begin a new tradition with our teenager, that will allow her to experience the joy of giving back. Instead of sitting around obsessed with what presents will be under the tree for her this holiday, she will be helping her family put together and deliver big gift boxes to give as a surprise on Christmas Eve. 

We could have chosen a needy family or an elderly neighbor, but this year we've decided to bring the joy back to those in our own family who seem to have lost the true spirit & pleasure of Christmas. In our family, that happens to be our daughter's grandparents. As folks who lived through the end of WWII, the Vietnam War, the summer of love, Ronald Reagan & Bill Clinton, 9/11, hurricanes & globalization, earthquakes & tsunamis, they've grown clearly jaded. 

Though we remember lovely Christmases spent together under their trees, that was years ago. Now, they come to dinner on Christmas with envelopes of checks in their pockets, full of love, but done with buying, done with Black Friday, online shopping & returned gifts. They smile through the unwrapping, but they leave early & we know why. They're 70; we understand.

Still, we have hope to rekindle just a small candle flame in their hearts by surprising them on Christmas Eve with a big box of loving gifts and cheer that they really won't be expecting. We will use the following websites for inspiration, but our boxes and contents will be as handmade & hand-chosen as possible. We want them to feel special and remembered, the way we felt as children, under their trees, so long ago.

Grandparents might appreciate simple Christmas eve traditional gifts (pajamas, slippers & favorite snacks) but personalized touches will really ignite Christmasmas spirit.
This is the same idea as above, but the gift is given in a handmade wooden box, painted with a personalized message!
Creative, unique & traditional gift baskets for adults at a discount price.
The purchased, ordered & pre-prepared candy & fruit baskets. A fun website to peruse for ideas.
The purchased, ordered & pre-prepared wine basket. This would be fast & fancy, but not as personal. Also, may not be appropriate for all families as grandparents can be on medications that prohibit alcohol consumption.
In a rush? No time for personal touches. Amazon wins for fast, easy & fairly affordable prices. Use the Amazon filters to locate a price-range that fits your budget. A Christmas eve basket without breaking a sweat or the bank.

More ideas {here}

Happy Holidays!

Mother, Daughter, Teacher
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Author bio: A mother for seventeen years and a teacher for almost twenty, Elena has learned many lessons along the way. Currently, she teaches a 6th grade English & Social Studies core, along with ELD/ELA classes, grades 6-8 combined, to international students from around the globe. This year she's spending every Friday in ELA teaching empathy, kindness & empowerment.

1 comment:

  1. Very lovely post -- one after my own heart. We don't want for anything. If our kids want to give us anything, donate to their favorite charity in our name, or give us gifts of music, books or theater.

    My husband and I don't exchange gifts, but give one large gift to an organization our niece founded to support nuns in Kitenga, Tanzania, and their dream to educate 1,500 girls on 1,000 acres given to them by the govt. The school, dorms, library, and a science STEM building have been built -- all green - A as well as a medical clinic and a house for a physican. The school opens in January. Supporting her work is our gift to each other, as well as other charities.

    As we age, I believe we see what is really important in life and we are compelled to be of service.


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