How many of you love the holiday season like me? I love the family, shopping, lights, food…I think the only thing I dislike about this time of the year is the cold weather it brings! Our family has a lot of traditions this time of the year. One of those traditions is to give back to our community. Growing up, my family was very poor but I have so many memories of people reaching out to do kind things for us during this season. I want to make sure that I’m teaching my kids the importance of giving back to others, especially during the holidays.
Are you looking for a way to give back to your community this holiday season? There are a lot of different things you can do to really make a difference! Here are some things we like to do:
- Bake some cookies or fresh bread and gift them to your local fire fighters and police officers as a thank you for all the do for the community.
- Purchase toys for Toys For Tots.
- Adopt an Angel Tree family or child.
- Assemble care packages for the homeless. Here, it gets rather cold. When we see a homeless person in our area, rather than give out cash I like to hand them a bag with some gloves, a scarf, some personal care items, and a gift card to a local restaurant, like Denny’s, where they can get a nice, warm meal and a cup of coffee.
- Donate dog and cat food to your local animal shelter.
- Have your children color pictures, sign Christmas cards, and then deliver them to a local nursing home. If allowed, hand deliver them to the residents. Many of the elderly living there don’t have regular guests and enjoy this gesture so much!
- Go caroling!
- Purchase the fixings for a grand Christmas dinner for a family in need and deliver them to their doorstep. Don’t have time to shop? Just take them a Denny’s gift card instead.
- Know a single mother? Offer to take her kids for a few hours so she can do her Christmas shopping. While you have her kids, take them shopping for some gifts for their mom.
- Pay for the meal of someone else while you’re dining out, or for the order behind yours in the drive thru. Last year while dining at Denny’s we noticed a homeless man at the counter, counting out change to get a cup of coffee. It felt wonderful to be able to stop on our way out the door and give him money to purchase a full meal.
Every year, one of the things we like to do is to take the kids out shopping to purchase gifts for a family in need in our area. Sometimes we might donate to Toys For Tots or at a local shelter, other times we know of a family personally that we decide to bless. After a day of shopping, we end our day enjoying a delicious meal as a family and this year the kids all agreed: Denny’s!
I’m honestly not sure what year Denny’s started offering these, but the kids remembered that last year Denny’s offered Rudolph Pancakes on their special holiday menu. Sure enough, when we stopped by our local Denny’s a few days ago, there they were again! I wasn’t a bit surprised when they ordered those, even though it was dinner time. Jacob ate the red candy nose off of his and then went for the bacon antlers before I could even snap a picture!
If you are like my kids and enjoy breakfast all day, you’ll love the new seasonal breakfasts offered from Denny’s:
- New Sticky Bun Pancake Breakfast – Sinfully sweet cinnamon sauce and cream cheese icing are drizzled over two fluffy buttermilk pancakes with glazed pecans cooked inside, served with two eggs and hash browns, plus a choice of two strips of bacon or sausage links.
- New Pumpkin Cream Pancake Breakfast – Offering fall flavors with every bite, two fluffy pumpkin pancakes are layered and topped with tasty pumpkin cream and served with two eggs and hash browns, plus a choice of two strips of bacon or sausage links.
- New Salted Caramel & Banana Cream Pancake Breakfast – This delicious seasonal dish features two fluffy buttermilk pancakes with shortbread pieces cooked inside, layered with vanilla cream and topped with fresh bananas, warm salted caramel sauce and even more shortbread pieces. Served with two eggs and hash browns, plus a choice of two strips of bacon or sausage links.
Now me, I’ve never been a big breakfast lover (even at breakfast time) but I was ecstatic to see that Denny’s offers a traditional Turkey and Dressing Dinner on their holiday menu. It was absolutely delightful! I can never get enough turkey and dressing (or stuffing as we call it here in West Virginia). I picked mashed potatoes and gravy for my side, along with french fries (for the kids). It was so filling, I couldn’t even finish my full meal.
We treated the kids to Red Velvet Pancake Puppies for dessert. Made with white chocolate chips, tossed with powdered sugar and served with a side of cream cheese icing for dipping, they were absolutely divine! If you’re looking for something more traditional, you can also find pumpkin and pecan pies, along with a Holiday Cookie Milk Shake available for dessert.
This year while you’re out shopping, take a delicious break at your local Denny’s! And, don’t forget, Denny’s gift cards make great gifts for those on your list AND those in need in your community!
Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Denny’s for this post. All opinions are my own.