Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

The mad rush to get everything done before the “big day” is upon us. Even the most organized of holiday divas get a little kooky three days before Christmas. Is everyone checked off your nice list? Do you have all the ingredients to make your famous pumpkin pie? Did you mail everything on time, or do you need to rush to the post office and frantically overnight some envelopes of cash?

In all the hubbub, it can be easy to forget that there is more to the season than gifts, pies and standing in line at the post office. If you haven’t had time to reach out this holiday season, there is good news. You still have time. Here are a few easy ways that you can still make a difference this Christmas.

1. Donate Your Time. Find a local homeless shelter that will be serving meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Call and find out if you can help out for a few hours. If your children are old enough, bring them along. If you think a soup kitchen atmosphere may be too overwhelming for your little ones, find out if your church, police department or local hospital needs any help delivering food or toys. Spending just one hour of your time can help a large number of organizations that are trying to give every family a wonderful Christmas this year.

2. Donate Your Stuff. If you have cleaned out some things to make room for all of the shiny, new stuff that Santa will be dropping off on Christmas Eve, find a good home for the oldies. Ask teachers at your childrens’ schools if there is a particular family in need or contact your church. Finding a specific home for your old items is the best plan, but if all else fails, make a trip or two to the local thrift shop to unload.

3. Donate Your Money. The past few years have been financially challenging for nearly every home. No matter how much we may be stressed about getting everyone on our list a “nice enough” gift, there are families who are not sure how to pay an electric bill or the cost of medical care for a child. Find an organization that is close to your heart or even a specific family and make a donation. I’ve always felt like even a little bit of money that is given out of goodwill seems to stretch farther than the amount printed on the bill. Pledge a small, one-time gift or better yet, make it your New Year’s resolution to give a monthly monetary donation to a specific organization. I’ve posted videos below of two of my favorite places to send some cash, even if it’s just a little. I would like to think that someone would do the same for my family if we needed it.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

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Category: Christmas

Tags: charity