December ‘giving house’ list |

December ‘giving house’ list

With all the crazy sales, shopping and overspending during December, many of you may be interested in the following list of ideas for giving as a family during the month.

1. Mail a card to a relative that you have not spoken to in a while.

2. Do something especially nice and out of the ordinary for your sister or brother.

3. Write a letter to your teacher telling them what you most like about his or her class.

Tell each member of your immediate family what you love about them.

4. Give someone a nice compliment they wouldn’t normally expect.

5. Pack your own school lunch so mommy can take the night off.

6. Go out of your way to help another child or adult.

7. Play with a friend at school that is alone at recess.

8. Choose two or three nonperishable food items that you can set aside to donate to a local food bank.

9. Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you recently.

10. Cut some flowers out of your yard (or make flowers out of tissue paper) and give them to either a teacher at your school or a neighbor.

11. Sit with someone different at lunch that you don’t know very well and get to know them.

12. Decorate cards that you can mail to children who are sick and in some cases fighting cancer (cards can also be sent to their siblings).

13. If you see a piece of trash on the ground (at home, school or outside) pick it up and throw it away — be sure to wash your hands afterward!

14. Choose at least one article of clothing to donate to Goodwill or a child in need.

15. Email your congressman or the president asking them to consider an issue that you feel is important for your community.

16. Make a small craft and mail it to one of your cousins.

17. When you get to school ask your teacher if there is something you can do to help him or her in order to get the morning started.

18. Tell each member of your immediate family what you love about them.

19. Choose at least one toy or book to donate to Goodwill or a child in need.

20. Offer to take one of your neighbor’s dogs (or your own dog) for a walk.

21. Do a chore around the house that no one has asked you to do, but that needs to be done.

22. Call one of your grandparents on the phone (or FaceTime/Skype).

23. Write a letter to a soldier thanking him or her for serving our country.

24. With your parents help research a charity you can either donate money to or support through a future event (like a “fun run” or soup kitchen). Put it on the calendar and commit to it.

25. Give everyone in your family a big {squeeze} hug and kiss and tell them what you are thankful for.

This list was sent to me by Katrina Cabral, a volunteer for Project Cornerstone’s ABC Program located in Santa Clara County and based on the 40 Developmental Assets. In this literature-based program, volunteers read specially selected books and lead discussions and activities about important issues like respect, tolerance, honesty, peaceful conflict resolution, taking a stand against bullying behaviors and refusing to participate in gossip. 

For more information, please visit http://www.projectcornerstone.

The list was created by blogger Lisa Leake, (see to replace the candy and cheap plastic toys often given out as daily treats during Advent, so it has activities only for the 25 days up to Christmas.

Your own variation could start now, extend to the end of the month, do just 14 over the December school break, follow by date or randomly select a slip of paper from a bowl with an activity on it.

Before starting, you may need to make a phone call or two for some of the activities, such as No. 8 if you don’t know where to donate to the food bank. The original list on the blog has links for some, such as the president’s email.

Ned Russell lives in Grass Valley and is an enthusiast for the 40 Developmental Assets. You can reach him at (530) 271-5617 or send email to

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