Christmas Gifts(100820)
Credit: google images

When the month of December rolls around, so does the anxiety for many of Americans trying to figure out how to pay for Christmas Gifts.  Many families who are living above their means find themselves making irresponsible financial decisions in order to make sure there is something under the tree.   If only there was a way to get the children something for that special day or maybe something special for another loved one without putting themselves into debt.

            Well fortunately there are many ways to get free gifts for Christmas.  If you are in need due to financial hardship, there are some great organizations that can help you make the holidays easier. 

  1.  Toys for Tots.  This holiday charitable program was started by the Marine Corp in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks.  Along with a group of Marine reservists he begins collecting toys in Los Angeles for needy children.  Since its early beginning, the Marine Corp has collected toys from October to December and then distributes them for Christmas.  Distribution centers are located in various communities throughout the US.  For those in need of help for the holidays, check out this charity.
  2. Angel Trees.  Thousands of churches across the country are involved in this Christmas tradition.  How the Angel Tree works is family names are submitted to churches who then ask members of the Church to choose families to sponsor for Christmas.  You pull and Angel off of the tree at the Church and it has the name, ages, and some gift wishes included.  This helps the Church member to know what the children are in need of.  My children and I participated in this tradition and we each picked an Angel.  It was one of the most rewarding things that we have ever done. 
  3. Santa’s Castle.  Since 1994, this charity has been helping Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines during the holidays.   This is a command program in which the unit is briefed on the application process and given information on how soldiers and apply.  This is mostly meant for SGT (E-5’s and below), but there are exceptions to policy for higher ranks.  To get help you usually just  fill out an application and give it to your commander to turn in you are given an appointment to go and shop for gifts for your children at the Castle location.  The organization offers some wonderful gifts for kids.  Check for locations, as they may not be located in all military areas.
  4. Tom Joyner Christmas Wish Wednesday.  I found out about this Christmas help on the radio.  The Tom Joyner radio show makes a Christmas wish come true for someone every Wednesday.  You must write the show and share a story as to who the gift is for and why it should be granted.  Most of the gifts that are given are pretty substantial.  If you have a good story and a reasonable request you could find your wish being granted on this radio show.
  5. Place a request online.  Many strange requests have been placed online when it comes to assistance.  If you are in need of help for the holidays, try placing an ad with your story online to places like Craigslist, Facebook, do a video for You Tube, or simply put up a one page website and you may be surprised at the results.  If a kid looking to pay for college can sell pixels online and make more than a million dollars; you can surely get enough money for a few Christmas gifts.