There is a lot of buzz this year about giving experiences instead of material gifts this holiday season. I am huge fan of this concept. Rather than opening a shiny new light saber that will inevitably end up broken and/or lost in the pile of other toys, why not give the gift a year long membership to the incredible Science Museum of Virginia or the Children’s Museum of Richmond?
Another thing most parents want to do during the holiday season is ensure their children get to experience all the fun festivities around town. There is something so magical about experiencing a visit with Santa or ice skating for the first time through the eyes of our little ones. As much as there is to do during this busy season, taking time to really be with our children also brings so much joy.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children this holiday season is the experience of giving back to others. Children, no matter how old or young, can share in the joy of bringing happiness to another person in ways big and small. There are many incredible ways families can get involved and give back in Richmond.
Here are just a few ways you and your kids can volunteer together this holiday season:
- Adopt a family through The Salvation Army & NBC 12 Angel Tree or work with Henrico Christmas Mother to provide gifts for a family. Your child can go with you to the store and pick out a special gift just for that child.
- Volunteer to participate in honoring our veterans by placing wreaths on their graves at Richmond National Cemetery on December 17th.
- Contact a local retirement community and schedule a time for a small group of children in your neighborhood, school or church to go and sing Chritmas carols to the residents. HandsOn Great Richmond has options for this as well.
- If you have older children, providing them the tools and time to offer a neighbor help raking leaves or wrapping gifts is another great way to help them experience the joy of doing an act of kindness.
- Make holiday cards with your children and drop them off at a local shelter to give to the people staying there during the Christmas season.
- If you have younger children, help them put together small activity boxes and deliver them to a local pediatric hospital for the young patients that will have to spend their holiday in the hospital.
- If you have teenagers that love animals, they can volunteer at a Pet Adoption event during the holiday season with the Richmond Animal League.
Experiencing the joy of giving to others is a special gift indeed. Experiencing it with a loving parent makes it even more special and lays the foundation of volunteerism for your child for years to come.
What ways do you and your family give back during the holiday season in RVA? We’d love to add to our list!