Giving Ideas for ThanksGIVING. Here’s How the Whole Family Can Participate






Well guys, we are officially here, Thanksgiving week – the week I believe starts the holiday season whether we are ready or not. 

On your drive out of town OR while sitting at work wishing you were already heading out of town – a few things to discuss this gorgeous California morning:

1. What are we doing to help our kids grow in kindness and turn away from retail mania this week? (*believe me, it is a task we CAN accomplish…just work with me in this post)

First off, most kids are out of school all week this week. This is a perfect opportunity to keep them busy with some good deeds while we are busy in the kitchen. At my abode we are getting our kids started on their cards to the military for the GenerationOn Joy Makers Challenge. We still have until Saturday to grow our team of Smile Makers this season. In 24 hours we already have almost 50 kids on Team ISP (nice work guys)!

Last year we spent the holiday in Palm Desert. While Grandma and Grandpa were out golfing that morning we had a factory of crafts going on for the kids to set the festivities for the night. They had a blast and it kept them busy while we cooked. From turkey hats to a canvas of turkey hands of each grandchild as a thank you gift to present that night to the grandparents – no one was bored.

Any easy example that would be a nice discussion at dinner would be gratitude placemats. Just with large paper or a roll of paper cut, the children can make these for each place setting for each person at dinner to write what makes them grateful this year.

Thanksgiving craft 1

photo credit

One that we did last year was the handprint and signature tablecloth. We had all the grandchildren add their hands and sign their names on a red tablecloth. We presented it to the grandparents at the end of the trip to use for the next family holiday, Christmas.

Thanksgiving craft 2

photo credit pinterest


2. What sorts of things did we start doing for others?

We kicked off this week taking food to Children’s Hospital of Orange County to families staying at the hospital Oncology floor. Various organizations get together and bring an elaborate mix of holiday foods – home cooked – so they get a little taste of home while going through some difficult times. As a Mom who spent many days and nights on the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit with my two year old I can tell you, these meals mean more than you think. We try to do this when we can to pay it forward for those anonymous people who did this for us in 2013. A photo of preparation that day (only with VERY clean hands and completely WELL children/adults please if you decide to ever do a meal as such):

Thanksgiving collage

3. What can the adults do for others this Thanksgiving?

So you’ve done your food donation,  canned food drive, maybe a soup kitchen but this year are at home baking up a storm and want to do something different to express gratitude and kindness in 2014.

pumpkin giveaway

We were sent info on this organization that is giving away pies to homeless, nursing homes or other people that might need some extra TLC this Gobble Day. Click here for more about the Great Pumpkin Giveaway.

Another option that I really liked because it gives back to those that you know that may not ask for help but you want them to know that you are thinking of them with a simple act of love and kindness. I mean, we are already in the kitchen this week anyway, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to go this extra mile for someone that will make a life-long impression?

thanksgiving tie

Here is what the creator, EllynAnne Geiseler suggested to do on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, “Tie One On Day participants are encouraged to wrap a baked good in an apron or other cloth and tuck in a personal note; then deliver their offering to a charity, neighbor, co-worker, or nameless service clerk in need of physical or spiritual sustenance, a bit of recognition or just a kind word.”  

4. What can we do as an active family?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked! My favorite thing to do on Thanksgiving (sorry to my family, it’s actually not watching the Cowboy game) is workout or do a 5K with family or friends first thing in the a.m. to start the occasion off right. We weren’t in town for the famous Turkey Trot, but our trusty sis-in-law knew there were fundraising runs everywhere and found one in Palm Springs for us. The whole family came and ran starting at age 2 (in the stroller clearly, I mean we aren’t fanatics).

Thanksgiving run

Our then 3 year old twinies heading to the finish line in downtown Palm Springs

You know we couldn’t get by without a 40 DAY OF GIVEAWAYS and Kickstarter update did you?

The main thing I want to say is THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your amazing donations, emails, and encouraging words. With the funds for Kickstarter paid via PayPal we are at 35% funded. This is because of you and this Thanksgiving we are grateful for all our amazing friends and family. We still have 65% to go in a few short weeks and with Kickstarter it’s all or nothing so please continue to spread the word!

We have a simpler donation link through PayPal here. It all goes to the fundraiser but is a few less steps for smaller donations as well as entries for the giveaways. Click here if you prefer this link.

NOW, for the Giveaways for this week:

Monday: $100 and skin consultation for Rodan + Fields skincare. Any product for any skin condition.

Tuesday: Fun for the kiddos at Playland Café – Play Passes, Food, & Gifts ($100)

Wednesday: Spray Tan Party (at your preferred location in OC) by Allure  Mobile Tan for 5 people. We do this at my friend’s house once a month and it’s certainly a “party”…..

Thursday: The amazing hand-painted rocks that my kids go crazy over. They give to friends, hide in parks for other kids to find or just keep as their “pet”. This artist gave us several customized to our motto “Kind is the New Cool”

Friday: A box of star wands, swords & light sabers that light up, glow and blink. You know the stuff kids go crazy over at the  amusement parks? We are giving several away, your pick of a batch each of $25 worth (approx. 3-5 items per win). We have $100 worth so 4 people win! Donation by Flashy, Blinky Lights

Saturday: DATE NIGHT GIVEAWAY! Capital Seafood Gift Card (any location) and 2 movie tickets (sorry, babysitter not included)

Sunday: One of the most reputable, well-respected dermatologists in OC, Dr. Peter Helton Dermatology. Botox gift certificate ($250 value).

We have some more surprises up our sleeves for Black Friday. Until then, have you heard of Dylan and Delany? 😉


To donate and help us fund our 2015 kindness programs and read our story click here for larger amounts and here for quick donations to ISP or to enter for a giveaway of the day.