You may know some families this year who have been hit hard by the economy. Job loss, wage cut-backs and reduction of hours or benefits are becoming common place in today’s business world. If you are in a position to help, you might be wondering how you can assist them without offending. This list of ideas has been gathered to help you dream up creative ways to help out and fuel your own holiday spirit as you give.
- Leave a surprise on their porch of a box of hot chocolate and something to keep them warm long after the cocoa is gone. Make a gift of gloves, hats, boots and scarves for a family with growing children.
- Pay a utility bill. The utilities companies do not care who pays the bill as long as it gets paid. You can surprise a struggling family with the gift of not having their heat cut off or being without light during the cold dark winter months by paying their gas or electricity for them.
- Perhaps wrapping a bow around a case of soup and calling it a Christmas gift will help ease the pill for those who are usually too proud to accept help.
- Buy a gas card – or find a pretext for filling up the tank of their car yourself. Job interviews are hard to get to without transportation, so this gift may just keep on giving if a job is obtained for someone unemployed.
- Send along some entertainment – a movie or game night with all the trimmings of popcorn, milk duds and licorice whips can go a long way to helping people forget their troubles.
- Provide some necessities. Diapers, toilet paper and cleaning supplies may not seem like an ideal Christmas gift, but they can be a real blessing if a family is going without these things most of us take for granted.
- If the family is the Church-going type, Sunday dress, grooming supplies and make-up may be just what they need to help them out.
Perhaps this is the year for many of us to step out of our comfort zone and not give our usual gifts of chocolates, dolls, or gadgets. We may be able to really make a difference with our gifts this year if we just use our powers of observation and meet the real needs this winter. It might truly make someone’s Christmas merry and bright.
About the Author: Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. Working through college and being in the corporate world give her a great deal to say about subjects as diverse as home canning to online schools to business ethics.