Whether you've got kids, or are their really cool aunt or uncle, chances are they're already bugging you for gifts. So here are 10 ways to keep them in line, courtesy Our Kids of Arlington:
2.) Have kids shop for a holiday meal or needed provisions and deliver them to a local food bank, like the Arlington Food Assistance Center, Columbia Food Pantry in Falls Church, the Lorton Community Action Center, Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg and Food & Friends in the District.
3.) Have your kids don their Santa hats and hop in your family sleigh to help deliver packages to families through organizations such as Childhelp Children's Center of Virginia (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) or Germantown Help (Call 301-482-1320, x6 and leave a message).
4.) Wrap gifts for a charity at the local mall or bookstore. The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is looking for volunteers (kids 18 & under must be accompanied by parent) to wrap gifts at local Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores. Contact email@example.com to inquire about locations & shifts.
5.) Participate in the Toys for Tots program. Bring your child to the toy store and have them choose toys that they can donate (while you try to escape without buying your kids anything). Donation boxes are available at Toys R Us, Babies R Us and a number of other locations, which you can find here.
6.) Participate in the giving tree programs at your church or synagogue. Or adopt a family through an organization like the Lourie Center in Rockville, Our Daily Bread in Fairfax County or Reston Interfaith and have your kids help select gifts.
7.) Ask you children to set aside toys they no longer play with (and clothes that no longer fit) to donate to kids in need through organizations like Goodwill of Greater Washington, National Children's Center or Salvation Army USA.
8.) Contact your local senior center to assist seniors with errands they need to accomplish. Or make holiday pictures and cards for nursing homes. The Holiday Project of the National Capital Area is seeking volunteers to visit residents of specific nursing homes and hospitals on certain dates.
9.) Prepare holiday care packages for soldiers deployed overseas through a program like Operation Shoebox.
10.) Or, have your child write a thank-you or holiday greeting card to a soldier through the American Red Cross's "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program.
If all else fails, break out the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" videos.