If it were just me I'd volunteer at a soup kitchen or Meals on Wheels or something on the holidays. Or could I do that anyway with kids?
Anyone here volunteer on T-day or Christmas WITH their young children? How did it work out for you? How did you manage it?
I cannot go through this again. I will not. I will not live my life like this.
Pick something that matters to you, call and ask about the kids. There's bound to be something that the kids can be included in
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
On Christmas morning whilst mom cooked the lunch my father drove us there to visit.
Yes it was a bit intimidating but I still remember the joy on those patients faces that children had come in to see them.
Those were different times and most of the patients had been abandoned at birth and had no visitors ever, let alone on Chistmas Day.
It sure made us appreciate our own family and home at Christmas.
I wish you luck in reclaiming the holidays for you and the children.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
Minimizing the glitz and materialism of Christmas is ok. You don't have to not do that just because your ex has a different view. The kids will absorb both and it would be awesome for you to show them this other, very important side of it all.
I, on the other hand, find an Angel Tree and let the kids pick out kids to shop for. We talk about how these kids have very little and we have so much.
Then, their school has a group they collect for, my children spend their own allowance on buying for others.
I do volunteer work all year, which is an organization that provides fresh food to the local food bank/Meals on Wheels. Next year my oldest will be able to go with me. I want to instill volunteering for others as a part of your life, plus doing extra around the holidays.
If you know a family or single person that is having a rough time in your community, making cookies or a meal for them can be really appreciated.
I make cookies and pass them out to certain people in my community to thank them for their hard work. This year, I am going to have DD help me. We will take them to the post office (those people know me by name), the waste removal people on trash morning, and a few others.
My kids love to dress up in costumes. My two dressed up, one like Santa and the other like an elf and we went to the local nursing home. We passed out care packages (chapstick, socks, crackers) and had so much fun. The kids loved looking at everyone's room and all the trinkets they had in them. The nursing home residents loved having a visit from little children.
I know money is tight, so I like the idea of having your kids make cards or ornaments to put on the tree. Just being there is all they want, though - you don't really have to bring anything.
I called the nursing home first and they let me know the parameters (when to visit, what we could bring). It was great. One of my children's favorite part was when one of the residents asked my child to push their rolling table closer to them. My child felt so good to be able to help!
I hope you have fun with whatever new traditions you decide on, NG!
Make a few calls and see if it would work. Or see if your food bank needs volunteers to put together hampers, or something.