1. Giving Never Felt So Good!

    It’s been a wonderful holiday season here at CookiesKids.com. Our warehouse was bustling, our website was filled with holiday deals, and we worked around the clock to ensure that toys and clothes got to you in time for the holidays. But this year we also did something more. As a member of the NYC community, we knew we had to do something to assist those affected by Superstorm Sandy, so we found seventy-five lucky kids whose holiday seasons had been darkened by the storm’s devastation. Then, in partnership with American Express and the Brooklyn Nets, we gave each of these kids a $250 American Express gift card to spend in our store. Players from the Nets were on the scene to take pictures, sign autographs, and offer the occasional toy-related advice. The day proved a memorable one for these kids, who pushed huge shopping carts full of toys to the register with even huger smiles on their faces. But for a young basketball fan, there’s really no toy that can compare with a high-five from Deron Williams or Kris Humphries.

    Call us sentimental, but we find that times like these make all the stress of the holidays worthwhile – the little moments of giving back. Did you or your family have the opportunity to give back to your community this holiday season? If so, we want to hear about it! Tweet us @CookiesKids or visit our blog.

    If charity might have gotten lost in the shuffle this holiday season, we have a few suggestions on how you can still make things brighter for those less fortunate around you. Vacations from school are a great time to sort through kids’ closets and your kitchen pantry. See if you can put together some lightly used clothes (especially coats) and non-perishable foods to donate to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or another community organization.

    If your child receives some holiday cash from you or a relative, ask them to consider donating it to a charity of their choice. Try discussing with your family the charities and organizations you might want to support, based on your family’s unique values. Maybe there’s one organization you can all agree could use a few extra dollars for the New Year.

    Lastly, consider those in your community who might not have anyone to visit them this holiday season, like the elderly or infirm. Try to spend some time with these folks. They could probably use some extra holiday cheer.

    Charity doesn’t have to mean giving a down-on-their-luck kid a shopping spree in a toy store (though doing that was pretty fun!). It’s the littlest gestures that make the biggest difference, and they’re always twice as appreciated this time of year. Talk with your family about what giving really means to you. You might find some extra meaning in your holiday this year.

    Happy Holidays from CookiesKids.com!