The Passion Is Strong In This One.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with “Clangers” and Coolabi. All opinions are my own.

Last night, Cassidy and Scarlet baked cookies together. I had received an ultimate cookie recipe book from my uncle for Christmas, and Cassidy had received an attachment for our KitchenAid mixer from my parents which would mean we wouldn’t have to scrape the bowl anymore. We were excited. I started to smell the cookies wafting up into my office as I put some work stuff together and I followed the smell, entranced. We did a three-person taste test although poor Des was asleep. They were good. Great. And after we had all sampled at least one cookie, Scarlet said, “They’re good. Ok, so now we go and give them to homeless people on the street right?” Not in this case but I’m not surprised she said it. It’s been a season of giving.

Clangers

It’s been a season of meaning. We celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year quite in style, coming together with family and friends. It’s one of our favorite ways to spread joy during the festive season. We have been in full holiday mode for a month now, and it’s been a season of kindness, community, discovery and acceptance. It’s been completely wonderful and I think a memorable year for my kids. We’ve been expanding our horizons. We’ve also been really into Clangers lately!

Do you know it?

Clangers

According to the Today Show, it’s a “beautiful children’s show” and I agree! Clangers is a remake of an old show. It’s a stop-motion animated children’s TV series, narrated by William Shatner, about a family of pink mouse-like creatures who live on a distant planet, are always loving and supportive of each other and friends, and communicate through unique whistles.

On the planet the Clangers live on, life is emphasized by the family unit, kindness and empathy. And it’s VERY cool.

Watching Clangers as a family helped us celebrate the holidays so much more than I think we would have. We were inspired to think about life with more family time, support, empathy, kindness and action. This time of year is so special to begin with, and we wanted to make it more meaningful than ever. This kind of passion for giving back turns into a year-round thing.

Here are ten ways we have given back to celebrate this holiday season:

1. I baked fresh, cheesy garlic bread and Scarlet and Cassidy handed it out to homeless people on our city streets. Scarlet was really happy when they walked by people on their second walk-through, and saw people enjoying the warm meal.

2. Scarlet’s favorite – we paid for people behind us at the Starbucks drive-thru.

3. We baked cookies for our neighbors through the #SpreadCheer campaign, link HERE.

4. We made surprise boxes for loved ones going through rough times. What a delight to get those in the mail!

5. We picked two “angel” ornaments off the Salvation Army tree in the mall, one for each kid, and we bought everything off of their wish lists. And more.

6. We bought gifts through Care.org, or donated to both personal (to us) and global causes.

7. We called older or ill relatives we hadn’t talked to in awhile. Bonus points for video chats with adorable kids!

8. We donated food, clothes and toys to our local survival center.

10. We gave large tips on restaurant bills, along with handwritten notes on the receipts. That’s actually something Cassidy did on our first date together, so sometimes I like to do it with Des or Scarlet.

Clangers

It’s been one of our best holiday seasons yet, and I think there is so much more we can do together as a family.

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Clangers

What are your holiday traditions, and how do you give back during the festive season?

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76 Comments

    1. Thank you! My kids always reach for those. And they pick them too. I admit that I used to at least scan them first. I love the idea of jumping in fully!

    1. Steal ’em all! Also, the surprise box thing. Yeah. I thought Cassidy sent it. He thought I did. Either way, it’s finally going out. We’re such buffoons!

  1. I haven’t heard of the show – but will have to keep an eye open for it. It’s great that you’re sharing giving year round with your children. I really need to do more of it.

  2. So glad you are finding ways to love and give during the holiday, and that the kids are really “getting it”! Wonderful list… I can imagine the joy you bring by leaving large tips and notes- awesome!

  3. The Clangers sound so cute! I had not heard of them before. I love that you did so many things to give back. We need more people like you in the world Tamara. I too like to be generous with tips and I love the Starbucks pay it forward though the drive through too!

    1. I think there are people like me in the world, and even better! Like you!
      Clangers is so awesome. I can’t stop watching, even after the kids have gone to bed.

  4. You guys are a great example of what the holiday season is all about. You guys have been very busy being kind and spreading cheer.

  5. I’ve never heard of the Clangers before but it sounds like a nice show. I only gave back this year by making a donation to a local Chabad house, but it was a decent sized one. I did help bake/decorate cookies with my family that they gave to coworkers and friends…but that was so fun! 🙂

  6. So much love for you. Truly great ways to celebrate the season of giving and kindness. And also gave me more tips on how to give back!

    1. So much love for you too!
      Honestly the holidays end and it becomes so drab and hard here. If I can keep this season of giving going year-round, I think it will really help me and the kids.

  7. Bless Scarlet’s kind and giving heart wanting to share those yummy fresh baked cookies with hungry homeless people. Bless your family’s generously giving hearts by giving back in so many ways to your family, and your community through Spread Cheer, Care, and the Salvation Army. You and Cassidy, Scarlet and Des truly exemplify the spirit and meaning of giving, Tamara!

  8. I’ve never heard of Clangers but now I have to check it out with Madison. We did a lot of giving this year as well. We also donated to Care.org and gave huge tips around the holidays. It was our way of giving back after receiving so much this year. Happy New Year to you all.

  9. I love all these ways that you and your family have given back this season. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about especially now that the boys are older. We did 25 days of kindness leading up to Christmas and I loved seeing the boys minds and hearts open up even more.

  10. Hi Tamara, it sounds as if you have had the perfect holiday season, sharing goodwill and enjoying family time. I can’t believe that people are still watching the clangers (me and my sister used to enjoy the original series – how old is that soup dragon now?).

    A warm and fuzzy festive season is a good end to a year and a positive strat to the next. Wishing you and your family a brilliant 2016.

    xx

  11. My kids are too old for shows like this now, but it sounds really cute. I bet my younger nieces and nephews would like it.

  12. I love how you gave back and how your kids get involved. I have tried teaching my son to always give back and as a teenager he does really well with it.

  13. I have never heard of this show, but it sounds wonderful. You have been doing so many great things because of it!

  14. I never heard of this show before but it sounds great. I love all the things you and your family did to give back this holiday season. Very inspiring.

  15. It is very important to our family to give back to our community. Every year we help serve a Christmas dinner to our community and pass out toys to kids in need.

  16. My family enjoys going to our local food shelter and helping out there. Also we donate all of the clothes we know we will no longer wear to the Salvation army.

    1. I have to get better about donating clothing. I do it with the kids’ stuff but hold onto my own. I think it’s time!

      The sandwiches idea? So awesome.

  17. We have a group of us that get together monthly to make sandwiches that are given out to the women who are working on the street. We also donate our gently used clothes and stuff to those who need it.

  18. You are really teaching your kids the true meaning of the holidays and how to give back. I love your list of things you did. We love that show too – sprout is our favorite channel!

    1. It was so precious! I felt a bit like a scrooge because I had said no, but it was late at night and the cookies were for us. So next time it will happen!

    1. Thanks! And so many of them are my daughter’s ideas. I can’t wait to see what her brother comes up with.
      Although knowing him, he’ll want to give out lightsabers to people on the street.

  19. Love all the unique ways you gave back this season! I am stealing some for my 12 Days of Christmas Advent project next year. 🙂
    We had no TV over the holidays because our satellite receiver died — they said we would not get our new one until the new year. It was both a blessing and a curse and I now rock at Wii bowling. Bonus! 🙂

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