Getting Together & Giving Back During The Holidays

Giving back during the holidays is a beautiful family tradition and a fantastic way to spread holiday cheer. 

The holidays are a magical time where we get to create memories with the family,  gather around the dinner table to enjoy delicious holiday meals, give thanks to all we have, and bask in all the joy of the Holiday season. While it’s essential to enjoy this time with family and bask in all the joy, it is also important to spread the joy! If you’re wondering how your family can make the most out of the Holidays, finding small ways to give back is a beautiful way to spread holiday cheer and collectively make a difference. Holidays are filled with traditions; gathering around the table to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, leaving cookies out for Santa, waking up extra early Christmas morning, and gathering around the tree. All these beautiful traditions spark joy, and we think it is a great idea to make a tradition out of spreading that joy to others every year. 

This Year, Start a New Family Holiday Tradition.

Start a new holiday tradition in your family, where each family member does their part in spreading joy and giving back. Not only will this benefit those you give back to, but it will also benefit your family. Making a difference in the lives of others and finding a way to give back during such a joyful time is a beautiful experience that fosters closeness within the family and gives a sense of purpose to family members of all ages. There are so many ways to give back during the Holidays, have each member of your family choose something close to their heart that they will enjoy contributing to. If you don’t know where to start, do not fret! Dream Dinners has ideas for giving back for the holidays for every age group, so the whole clan can join in on this new tradition. 

How toddlers can give back during the holidays: Spreading Smiles.

Sending cards is one way your toddler can warm a lot of hearts and spark a lot of smiles. Have your toddlers pick whom they would like to send cards to! COVID has been especially difficult for the elderly, so a great option is to choose a local nursing home and have your little ones write cards to people living there. Wish them a happy Thanksgiving and let them know someone is thinking of them. They can decorate the cards with their own artwork, draw pictures, add stickers, and do anything else they believe will spark joy. Another option is to become a card angel and send cards to those in need through the angel card project. Send as many Holiday cards as you can to those who need a little love and cheer this Holiday season. 

How kids can give back during the holidays: Gifting Joy

Let the kiddos give back this season by giving gifts to those in need. Do your children love animals? They can spread joy to furry friends by making treats for local animal shelters. Emphasize that they are helping the animals have their own Thanksgiving feast! Make these easy Pupkin Biscuits by Rachael Ray for the pups to enjoy on Thanksgiving, or gift the fur babies’ toys and make donations throughout the season. This year, the littles can also help Santa by picking a few toys they think another child would enjoy. Gift them to a family in need or drop them at the toy drive. Explain how happy their gift will make someone this Holiday season. They are helping Santa first hand!

How teens can give back during the holidays: Giving time


A great way your teens can give time to give back this Holiday season is by helping to feed the hungry. Volunteering at your local soup kitchen is a wonderful way to dedicate time to making a difference. Explain that not all families can enjoy Thanksgiving feasts and festive holiday meals. By volunteering at a soup kitchen, they are helping those who may have gone hungry through the Holidays. They can also contact local shelters or food banks about assembling and packaging sandwiches or other portable meals. Does your teen love to bake? Have them bake some delicious desserts and donate them to spark joy in others with a tasty holiday treat. The Salvation Army is another excellent place to volunteer time to help provide Christmas to those who otherwise wouldn’t have one. Have your teens take time to go through their things. They can then donate items that could be used to benefit another family this holiday season. 

How parents can give back during the holidays: Coaching Compassion

One of the best ways parents can give back during the holiday season is by teaching their young ones the importance of compassion and giving back. Communicate with your family about the struggles others face. Teach them about how understanding and kindness can truly make a difference in the lives of others. The absolute best way to teach your children the importance of giving back is by showing It first hand! Starting a Family tradition during the holidays that involve giving back is a great way to show them firsthand. Making a difference in the lives of those who need it will help the entire family. Everyone will feel a strong sense of purpose and gratitude. In addition to coaching compassion, there are several volunteer opportunities available for parents during the holidays. You can volunteer to Be An Elf and answer letters children have written to Santa! Another great way to give back during the holidays is to run for a cause. Check local runs for a reason in your areas, like a Turkey Trot or Christmas 5k.

How families can give back together during the holiday season: Creating Connection, Impacting Community

Volunteering together as a unit is a great way to foster closeness within your family. Giving back together will create connections not only within your family but also within your community. Helping those in your community will create a lasting impact that stays long after the holiday season. There are plenty of ways your family can give back during the holidays as a family unit. Set aside a night where the entire family makes blankets together and then donate the blankets to those in need. Through Project Linus, You can donate blankets, a gift of warmth and security, to children in need during the chilly winter months. Another great idea is to set up a holiday food drive as a family. 

Donating to give back during the holidays

Not all acts of giving back involve volunteering time. Donating to a good cause is a wonderful way to give back to those in need. Many charities run off of donations, so the impact your family can have by giving to a cause is huge! If you decide to donate to a cause, make the entire family a part of the experience. Teach the kids about the organization you will be helping. Show them all the wonderful things the organization does to help those in need. Emphasize that your family is contributing to help change the world! If you’re looking for nonprofits or charities to donate to, google a cause that is close to your family’s heart. Look for a corresponding charity that you can give a gift to!

However you choose to give back during the holidays, we think your family will be happy to make it a tradition. 

Spreading compassion, kindness, and holiday cheer will quickly become something to look forward to as a family every year. If you’re interested in what Dream Dinners is doing to give back, check out the Dream Dinners Foundation, which has donated over 16 million meals for a wide variety of causes in the United States and abroad. 

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for all the fun the holidays bring! For some Thanksgiving family fun, check out our Turkey Day Toolkit. If you are looking to make Holiday cooking a breeze, place a Dream Dinners order for easy and delicious meals perfect for the season.