Focusing on the Giving, Not the Gimme: Giveaway, Swap and Operation Santa Claus

Two important announcements on this Holiday-giving focused post. First, we have a winner in our Craftsbury Kids giveaway. Congrats, Michelle R! It's nice to ba able to give something back to my readers too.

Next, the Mommy Poppins Holiday Toy Swap & Drive is ON!

Thanks to the generosity of the Downtown JCP, we will be having our event on Sunday, December 16th from 10AM to 1PM. Our Toy Swap is a great way to make this Holiday a little better for the environment, a little less consumer, and a little more giving. Recycle your gently used toys for other gently used toys that you can give your children and give a new, unwrapped gift to a child who might not be getting anything this year otherwise. So start cleaning out those closets of all those toys your children have grown out of or just don't need.

Mommy Poppins Holiday Swap & Drive
When: Sunday December 16th, 10AM-1PM
Where: JCP Downtown, 146 Duane St., New York, NY 10013
What: Bring your gently used toys to swap and a new, unwrapped toy to donate.
For more information:

This event is free, but you must bring a new, unwrapped gift to donate.

For another perspective, LifeHack wrote a post on the benefits for your child of doing a pre-Holiday room clean (via ParentHacks).

Another great way to teach your children about giving during the Holidays is to get them involved in a charity. I think one of the most profound ones is Operation Santa Claus. That's the program offered by the New York Post Office to answer the 500,000 letters of children who have written Santa asking for presents.

The stories in the letters can be quite profound and are often wonderful examples of Holiday selflessness in and of themselves. Just reading the letters of another child who has so little and just wants what our children may take for granted can be a great lesson for a child. But to be able to fulfill that wish and have the wonderful and rewarding feeling of having made a difference for someone else, I think, is a tremendous experience for a child.

Operation Santa Claus runs until Christmas Eve. Letters can be selected in person at the main post office, 421 8th Ave. at 33rd St. The hours are:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.