I can honestly say I do not recall where I first saw this but want to share it with my friends. Please know it is not original work. Also, please accept my apologies for not getting this up before Thanksgiving.
The holidays are generally a very busy time for most people. On Thanksgiving Day, try to take a few minutes to impress upon your children the generous blessings we have in this country and tell them that for the next 38 days you’re going to be doing a project together. This project, which runs from the day after Thanksgiving to Epiphany serves as a daily reminder of our material blessings and others’ neediness and gives us an opportunity to use our abundance to bless others.
First decorate an empty box or can to be used as a bank. Place it in the middle of your kitchen table and once a day for the next 38 days, you will be placing offerings into it. Feel free to adjust the daily activity to suit your family. Decide with the children to whom you wish to give this gift. On Epiphany, when according to tradition, the three wise men gave their gifts to the Christ Child, then you can give the gift away.
This information and challenges span almost six weeks.
DAY 1: (The Friday after Thanksgiving) One out of 5 American children live in poverty, lacking adequate clothing. Give .02 for each pair of socks, tights, and pantyhose each child has.
DAY 2: Are you thankful for the blessing of electricity? Give .02 for each light bulb in your house.
DAY 3: Would you rather live in the dim light of candles? Be thankful for them, too. Give .02 for each candle in your house.
DAY 4: Most of the world’s population lives beyond the reach of medical care. Give .10 for each box of Band-Aids in your house. Give an extra dime if they’re not flesh-toned.
DAY 5: Are you thankful you have a roof and doors to keep out the wind and rain? Give .10 for every exterior door your house has.
DAY 6: Are you thankful for your clothes? Give a nickel for every closet in your house.
DAY 7: Are you glad you have indoor plumbing? How about the toilet paper that goes with it? Give .05 for each roll of TP in your house, counting all stored away rolls.
DAY 8: To people in refugee camps, even a thin sliver of soap is precious. How many bars of soap does your family have? Give .05 for each bar. Also give .10 for each container of pump soap.
DAY 9: Think of something nice you can do for a poor family in your community and do it today. Maybe give them some homemade bread or make something special for them to brighten their day. If you can’t, put a dollar in the box and be exceedingly grateful for all of your own blessings.
DAY 10: Do you walk to your town to get a bucket of water for washing, drinking, bathing, and cooking? Or are you blessed with faucets that bring precious water to you? Give .10 for each faucet. Don’t forget the outside ones!
DAY 11: Still thinking of water, how did you get clean today? Give .10 if you took a bath and .20 if you took a shower.
DAY 12: Most of the world is starving while Americans biggest concern is being overweight! Put in .01 for each pound your mother and father think that they are overweight.
DAY 13: What a blessing to be able to see and have eye doctors to help us! Put .10 for each pair of glasses your family members wear, don’t forget sunglasses.
DAY 14: Many people in the world are blind and do not have doctors to help them. Give .05 for each person in your house that wears contact lenses.
DAY 15: Children are our future. Give thanks, and .10 for every child in our family. Do a secret good deed for each one of them today.
DAY 16: How would you like to live in your car as some families have to do? Give .10 for every car in your family.
DAY 17: What if you lived on the streets like so many in South America do? Give thanks for your home and give .05 for every pillow in your house. Count the decorative ones, too.
DAY 18: Epidemics often follow natural disasters. Give thanks if no one in your house has been too sick this month to go to work or to school, and give .50.
DAY 19: The comfort of a clean bed is an undreamed of luxury for millions of the world’s poor people. Give .05 for each bed in your house.
DAY 20: Did a cozy blanket cover you last night? Give a penny for every blanket in your home.
DAY 21: Was it cold enough to wear a coat today? Were you thankful for your coat? Give a penny for every coat, raincoat, and jacket in your house.
DAY 22: In some countries of the world, most of the people can’t read. Are you thankful you can read or that someone in your family can read to you? Put in a penny for each children’t book in your home.
DAY 23: By now, you have received Christmas cards from many loving friends and family members. Give a penny for each card, and give thanks for love.
DAY 24: Most of the world’s population has never seen a supermarket. Instead they scratch out their sustenance with primitive tools. Give .05 for every garden tool your family owns.
DAY 25: Most people in the world cook over an open fire. Aren’t you glad your parents didn’t send you out to chop wood this morning? Give .05 for every burner on your stove and .05 for every oven.
DAY 26: Aren’t you glad you have people that love and think about you? Put in .05 for every gift that is for you.
DAY 27: Unfortunately this is the time of the year in which many people suffer loss in house fires. Give .10 for every phone in your house from which you can call 911 in the case of an emergency.
DAY 28: Jesus was born! Put in .10 for each family member today.
DAY 29: Many people in the world suffer excruciating pain from the lack of dental care. Have you ever been grateful for toothbrushes? Five .05 for every toothbrush in your house.
DAY 30: Do you have a pet? Many people in the world can’t even feed themselves, let alone a pet. Give .25 for your pet. If you live on a farm and have any other animals, give a penny for each additional animal your family has.
DAY 31: Many children in the world barely get one meal a day. How many did you have? Give thanks and .05 for each meal.
DAY 32: Would you like to have to walk to school, to church or to the store? Most people in the world walk wherever they go. Give .10 for each bike, pair of skates, skateboard, or anything else with wheels you have at your house.
DAY 33: The Lord’s Prayer says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Be thankful for food today and give one penny for every slice of bread your family ate today.
DAY 34: Count all the cans in your cupboard or pantry. Give a penny for each one of them as you give thanks for the technology to can foods.
DAY 35: Count all the packages of frozen foods and meats in your freezer. Give thanks for refrigeration and give a penny for each you counted.
DAY 36: Make a list of all the fruits and vegetables that you can name. Put a penny in for each of them on your list.
DAY 37: Many children in the world do not receive an adequate education and can barely learn to read or write. Give a penny for every pencil in your house.
DAY 38: Most people in the world have never touched a computer in your house, put in .50 for each one of them.
The day for giving is here at last! Have the kids roll up the change in paper coin rolls, take the change to the bank and ask for a cashier’s check or money order made out to the family or charity you agreed upon. And give thanks! I will be posting some ideas of where you can give your donations to throughout the holiday season.