Every year the gap between Halloween and Christmas seems to close. November 1st hits, and BOOM, people are talking about Christmas, or even going as far as putting up their Christmas decorations. We seem to have forgotten a very important holiday that is in the middle, the star of November, Thanksgiving. Society is quick to jump from the overindulgence and hoarding of candy on Halloween to the flashy commercialism of buying and getting gifts. We forget to slow down, take count in our blessing, and just be thankful.
We start on November 1st
In my house November is for giving. We start on November 1st with a candy donation. Our neighborhood is very generous with all the candy and treats they pass out, and there is no way my kids will eat all of it. So, I give each kid a small bowl and have them fill it with the candy/treats they really want. Then, the rest goes into a box that we donate to the soldiers. We are always sure in include a thank you note or pictures as well. Organizations like Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels collect candy, treats and other items to send in care packages to hard working military members overseas. You can find a donation location near you here. Be sure to check the deadline dates, some are fast approaching.
My family also knows that in November we go through everything and donate. Toys, books, clothes, kitchen items, etc., everything gets examined and if we haven’t used it in a while, we donate it to a local charity. Our kids’ books and toys go to a donation center called The Toy Box Collection. They distribute toys and books to over 20 local children’s hospitals, shelters, orphanages, and other kids in need. As we are going through, I talk to the kids about how lucky we are, and how some kids don’t have as much as they do. Sometimes this is hard, especially with younger kids, but we talk through it. I ask them to remember some happy memories playing with a toy, and then have them imagine how many happy moments it will bring another child. We repeat often, November is for giving.
There are many ways to give
We also try to find ways to give our time. My mom’s group hosts an Operation Christmas Child collection and packing party. My son’s Cub Scouts also do several service projects including Feed My Starving Children. If we see a food pantry collection box, we try to put something in it. And every time we do, we talk about how it is important to help others. November is for giving, and I’d like to see more people take the time to remember that.