We all have our own definitions of “Christmas Spirit.” When we list our favorite things about this time of year, it usually doesn’t include “all the presents I’m going to get!” But for a child, I think you’ll agree: Gifts rank pretty high up there. It doesn’t mean kids are greedy or selfish. There is so much excitement surrounding Santa, and gifts are a Christmas tradition! 
 
I was a blessed child. Although my parents weren’t “rich,” I always had many Christmas presents under the tree. There was so much excitement, seeing those wrapped gifts, shaking them, and wondering what might be in them! 
 
 
Several years ago, when I began teaching in a Title I school, I saw firsthand just how much I had been a privileged child. Of course I knew that not everyone was growing up the way that I did… but it saddened me to see that the majority of my class could not relate to my childhood excitement. Many did not even have a big Christmas dinner, the way that my family always had. 

From then on, for me, the “Christmas Spirit” was defined as, “giving.” It became my mission each year to provide for as many local families as I could to help give them a Merry Christmas. It has absolutely warmed my heart to know a family gets to have a delicious dinner, and children have gifts to open on Christmas morning.  

Are You Interested In Adopting a Family For Christmas?

Many schools know the children that are in need, and they work with the parents to get clothing sizes and wish lists. (This is how I choose to purchase for families, but there are tons of organizations that can help you “adopt” a family, too!)

 

Ideas for Giving

The family you adopt will be so thankful for anything you provide. I have done different combinations for families from the following idea list:
  • Because you probably don’t “know” the family (allergies, likes/dislikes, etc), gift cards are always a great way to go. This will help provide for a family’s specific needs. Gas cards, grocery store cards, Wal-Mart cards, and Target cards are always “safe.” A gift card for a place like Honeybaked Ham is good, too!
  • Hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, and warm socks are good things to buy that they usually are in need of, and also are made as “one size fits most” so you don’t have to worry much about them being the wrong size. 
  • BOOKS! Lots and lots of books!! Many of the children I taught never had a book “of their own” until I gave them one as my class gift. If you are unsure of what books to buy, talk to a teacher in the same grade level and he or she can tell you what’s popular!
  • If you get an “interest” on the child’s wish list, run like crazy with it! This year, a boy that I bought for LOVED soccer. I purchased him a new soccer ball, goal, and kick trainer, along with a soccer encyclopedia, and a tabletop soccer game where the shoes go on your fingers! (How fun, right?)

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone!

Get family, friends, and co-workers involved! It’s a lot of fun to make it a joint effort. My previous grade level would always “adopt” a student from our school list and each of us would buy the child a gift. Then, we’d get together after school one day and wrap the gifts together! It was such a fun time to hang with my favorites (and for a good cause).

 
 
If you’ve been on the fence about adopting a family for Christmas, I hope this post helped give you some inspiration! Happy holidays to you all, and may the Christmas Spirit find you this season!
 
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jineyJessica Ivey has 10 years of experience in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Specialist in Teacher Leadership. Her passion for teaching, leading, and mentoring other teachers led her to offer webinars online and create curriculum and videos for her TpT store. She blogs at ideas by jivey and can also be found on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.