Brightening Up the Holidays

It’s T-9 days till Christmas, and things are starting to go wrong. The tree is dry, one of the strands of lights is out, and every time you try to park at the mall you have to breathe into a paper bag. This isn’t what the holidays are about. Like every year, you grumble about how out of the Christmas spirit everyone is, jiggle around some change for the Salvation Army for the pot, and call it a day.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Christmas is getting close, and there are still a lot of organizations that are looking for help to grant some Christmas wishes and ensure that families across New England have a hot holiday meal and the kids have a toy or two to unwrap. Remember when Christmas was magical? There are a bunch of kids across the country at risk of losing that feeling this year–and it’s way too early for them!

We scouted out a few last-minute holiday giving opportunities for CoupMe readers. We hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes out of your day and/or bucks out of your pocked (use what you’ve saved on CoupMe’s all year round!) to help out these deserving causes.

The Home for Little Wanderers Big Wish Gift Drive: The Home is looking for new, unwrapped gifts, especially for teenagers, to be dropped off across Boston before December 20th. But there are other ways to help, including donating gift cards, which will double in value, or buying gifts online and having them delivered! No excuses, even for the busiest little elf.

The Caroling Mob: This Sunday, join a big group of singers of varying talent in Jamaica Plain to carol around the neighborhood. If a few carols and drinks around the neighborhood don’t get you into the holiday spirit, you can be sure that you’ll put a smile on the face of someone doing their Christmas shopping, tree decorating, or just trying to get their food shopping done! When’s the last time you saw a group of carolers? Be a part of it this year!

Serve a Meal with Open Pantry: If you have some free time on Christmas Day, or just want an excuse to get away from the family for a few hours, think about serving a Christmas meal at one of the food pantries that serve your local area. This opportunity is at Open Pantry in Springfield, but nearly every pantry in New England will be open for the holidays, dishing out deliciousness to people who otherwise might not have a chance to get a hot meal into their stomach for the day.

Volunteer with Project Ezra: Not a celebrator of Christmas? Synagogues across the state run a program called Project Ezra, which places Jewish participants and others not celebrating the holiday into shelters and meal delivery programs to assist those i need of holiday meals, or host meals in their own home. Some volunteers relieve Christian workers at places like soup kitchens, nursing homes, and hospitals to give them the day off to spend with their family.

So get inspired. It’s still not too late to volunteer your time, your talent, or your cold hard cash to make holidays a little brighter for families across the state. There are tons of ways to do it, but next time you’re feeling a little Grinch-y and you have a “When one goes out, they ALL go out!” moment, hopefully you’ll have a new place to channel your Christmas energy!

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