#actsofkindness This Christmas season donate your time, money, and things to help others in need and focus less on consuming

Simplifying through #ActsofKindness

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The holiday season is filled with a plethora of excuses to spend money and lose focus of your values. Just a few years ago, Mr. Kiwi and I were part of the herd filing into stores as they opened in the early hours of Black Friday morning. And, while I love thoughtful gift exchanges, my priorities have broken sharply from consumption.

This holiday season (or winter, if you aren’t celebrating in any holidays) I’d love for all of you dear readers to join me (and a bunch of other personal finance bloggers) in participating in #ActsOfKindness.

We plan to give of our time, money, and possessions to improve and simplify our lives. So many people on the path to financial independence slow their giving and focus on the working grind. We have worked to build volunteering into our regular schedule, but could definitely stand to donate more money to causes we support.

I have also wanted to purge many of our possessions and simplify our home. While we will never be minimalists, I would love to greatly reduce my wardrobe, decor items, and get rid of some of the college hold outs in our kitchen. I have been dragging my feet, and I see this challenge as a great excuse to clean up our home and donate the items to a local charity.

The Frugal Pack #ActsOfKindess

#actsofkindness This Christmas season donate your time, money, and things to help others in need and focus less on consuming

This December we will be focused on carving out time to complete a few acts of kindness. Here’s our list so far:

  1. Participate in our workplace “Adopt-A-Family” program and buy at least one gift to contribute.
  2. Walk the river trail with our dogs and clean up garbage at least two times this month and make a monetary donation to support the trail.
  3. Donate spare change in our cars to the Salvation Army bell ringers outside the grocery stores.
  4. Attend the library practice your English training sessions to help others improve their language skills (and meet new people).
  5. Purge our wardrobe and donate all items that are still in good condition.
  6. Donate books that we have throughout our home to the library.
  7. Add a gift card to our next shopping trip to be donated to the local food bank. And make a cash donation to the local food bank.
  8. Donate our extra gloves, mittens, jackets, scarves, and hats to the church winter clothing drive.
  9. Shovel our elderly neighbor’s driveway as needed.
  10. Drop off cookies and a card for our neighbors (and finally welcome the new people to our block).
  11. Donate to a friend who is suffering from cancer and bring a meal for him and his family.
  12. Donate personal care items to a local women’s shelter or the local empathy and equity box.
  13. Donate to our local public radio station.

    Personal Finance Experts weigh in on reducing spending
    Picking up trash while walking the dogs is an easy #actofkindness

We will add to the list throughout this season as we come up with more ideas to give back and perform acts of kindness. Most of the list above will not take much time, and certainly will not impact our financial stability. But the actions have the possibility of improving our community and helping people in need.

Gift Giving

Finally, last year my family started the tradition of not exchanging gifts and instead donating to a friend in need (or charity). At Thanksgiving we plan to decide where the donation is going. It helps make Christmas day more meaningful for my family since we only have small stockings of consumables to open (soap, gum, coffee, home brew). We spend the day cooking up a feast, playing games, and making memories!

Join Us and Participate in #ActsOfKindness

Thanks to Chief Mom Officer for the inspiration and the other personal finance bloggers participating in sharing their #ActsOfKindness

What #ActsOfKindness do you Plan to Implement this Holiday Season?

15 comments on “Simplifying through #ActsofKindness”

  1. “Finally, last year my family started the tradition of not exchanging gifts and instead donating to a friend in need (or charity).”

    We started doing the same a few years ago for the holidays. My sister and I also do this for our birthdays. It not only takes the stress of the cost of buying gifts, but the money and time spent goes to someone in need.

    Our family will still do a group gift exchange (one person gives/receives one gift each in total) for Christmas. But even just doing one gift for a family member has made the gift giving process more enjoyable and somehow feel more meaningful.

  2. I love this! I’m trying to get back on the Christmas kindness wagon and adopt a family from our Angel Tree. I used to do it every year but fell off the last few years. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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  7. How did that discussion go over with your family initially? I’m in the same quandary, I don’t want “stuff”, but everyone is obsessed with exchanging material items. I only have one person I’ve been able to get away with a making a charitable donation on their behalf.

    1. Reply

      We started the conversation by eliminating birthday gift exchanges, and instead suggested large family dinners to celebrate. That was easier to implement. A few years later, my brother actually led the charge in the discussion of no holiday gifts, so we were the ones who had to agree. Unfortunately, he suggested it since one of his good friends was struggling with his health, and we all immediately agreed to help his good friend out. It helped having a specific reason (but I know you have a great cause and reason).

      We tried suggesting this to my in-laws in February for this year. But they were not game. We have repeatedly said we don’t want gifts over the last few years, so the gifts have are getting smaller. Unfortunately, not everyone gets on board.

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  11. Reply

    We started including donations as our holiday tradition with the kids. I don’t think they are ready anytime soon to do away with gifts entirely 🙂 Having said that, our kids get gifts during Christmas and Birthdays only, and 1 gift per kid.
    Thanks for joining the chain. #actsofkindness

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