Secret Service

h3. Kindness Quarters Throughout the months of November and December, when a child is caught doing something kind (doing a chore without being asked, giving a sibling a hug, taking the dog for a walk, etc.)--up to a certain predetermined amount per day--he or she will receive a quarter that the child can then place in the family "Giving Jar." The last week of the month, the family can purchase food or clothing using this Giving Jar money (or just donate the money itself) to the family or organization the family has decided it would like to help. h3. Winter Coat Warmth Several organizations sponsor annual coat drives this time of year to find warm coats for those less fortunate. Whenever a member of your family receives a new coat, make it a family tradition to donate the old coat to a charitable organization. Sifting through closets once a year and then driving to the coat donation center could be a great family home evening activity. h3. Christmas Day Give Away Some families have found that the following charitable tradition is one that leaves them with a wonderful and lasting memory: After everyone has opened all of their presents, invite each child (and the parents) to choose one item to give away to someone less fortunate. Then, as a family, take a trip to a homeless shelter, battered women's shelter, or a needy family in your area, and anonymously offer them your gifts. h3. A Surprise Santa This could be a great neighborhood project. Rent a Santa costume and then find the best jolly guy you can find to fill it. Do what you can to find out the individual needs or wishes of the family members you and/or your neighborhood has decided to help. For example, find out clothing sizes, toys they'd love to have, etc. Determine a budget and then purchase and wrap these gifts and place them into Santa's sack. Give the parents of the chosen family a call to make sure it's okay if they have company, and then have Santa surprise the children (and the parents) and give them the wrapped gifts. It's sure to be a memory none of the families will easily forget.
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