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Inviting a family for Christmas?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What do you think of the idea of inviting a stranger family into your home for Christmas dinner with your own family?

I noticed a trend (a very good one) of families who advertise to "host" a needy family to their house for Christmas meal. The family gives their email (and/or phone number) on craigs list and asks that you contact them.

Sounds to me like a wonderful idea to show the true meaning of Christmas. With so many families out there who are really hurting this Christmas - I think its a great idea.

We are thinking in the future of doing that - and picking out a family that we feel needs it the most. Would you do the same?
post #2 of 14
It's a beautiful sentiment, and would most likely be wonderful. But myself personally; I think I'd feel more comfortable just volunteering at a mission or charitable organization that serves Christmas meals to those in need.
post #3 of 14
I think it is a great idea, but the part about advertising it on Craigslist kinda freaks me out though. Can your church hook you up with a needy family? I'd be really worried inviting a total stranger
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I think it is a great idea, but the part about advertising it on Craigslist kinda freaks me out though. Can your church hook you up with a needy family? I'd be really worried inviting a total stranger
I agree. I've spent Christmas day with complete strangers more than once, but they were introduced thru mutual aquaintenances.
post #5 of 14
Unfortunately in today's world it is probably very unsafe to invite strangers into your home. Getting in contact with your church would probably be a safer option.

On the radio this morning I was listening to a young man who has offered Christmas dinner to a needy single mom family. He also advertised it on Craig's List. He received 4 replies and then removed the ad. He is asking his church to help the other 3 that he did not choose. He is simply buying a gift certificate to a grocery so the mom can do her own shopping because as he says, he has no way of knowing what nationality they are or if they even eat turkey, etc. so this way she can buy what her family likes for their dinner.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
You guys came up with some better suggestions. We haven't done it yet, but was just a thought for the future. I like the idea of going thru the church.

The only thing about giving the money/certificates is that you don't know if they will use it for food or what. So I would offer to take the family shopping for the food and be sure they are using the certificates properly.
post #7 of 14
Well, although it would be nice if a needy family did go out and buy Christmas dinner, the reality is for a needy family there is probably A LOT more things more important than Christmas dinner. So trying to control what they buy, you may be helping them "more" by just giving.
post #8 of 14
Every year my Mom and a few of her friends put together a Christmas dinner for a family (different every year) and get 1 person in the house a present. I think their church helps them find people. They each buy or make parts of the meal. For example my mom usually buys a turky, someone else gets dinner rolls, and so on. They talk to the family and ask what they would like and do what they can to help them out. Everyone then loads up in my mom's seruban and they take it over Christmas eve.

As far as inviteing strangers into your house, I would have to agree there are alot of crazies out there on craigslist who are looking to take advantage of people. I personally think giving money is alway's a bad idea. I love to help others when I can, but I personally would rather get something they need for over giving money.
post #9 of 14
Yes I would agree with other posters to use your church or some other social organization so that the family in need is screened first and not just someone running some kind of scam.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Unfortunately in today's world it is probably very unsafe to invite strangers into your home. Getting in contact with your church would probably be a safer option.
I agree. It wouldn't be hard for someone to scam their way in by claiming to be "needy" only to hold you all at gun point while they stole everything you own ... or worse!
post #11 of 14
We saw a story on the news last night of a plane load of people from Australia who are stuck in San Francisco airport trying to get to Canada, but can't because of the snow. There were some really upset people who'd spent thousands of dollars on their trip, only to most likely be stuck in an airport for days and miss Christmas completely.

I'd like to help those sort of people to brighten up their day a bit - nothing worse than being stuck in a cold, uncomfortable airport on your own on Christmas Day

Unfortunately we're off on Christmas Day to drive south, so won't have time to do it.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post

The only thing about giving the money/certificates is that you don't know if they will use it for food or what. So I would offer to take the family shopping for the food and be sure they are using the certificates properly.
So you want to give, but you want to control how it's spent? Give a certificate to a grocery store if you want to make sure it's spent on food. But think about this, what if the money was given to a mother who felt it was better spent on a coat or boots for their child rather than one meal?
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post
So you want to give, but you want to control how it's spent? Give a certificate to a grocery store if you want to make sure it's spent on food. But think about this, what if the money was given to a mother who felt it was better spent on a coat or boots for their child rather than one meal?
I agree. The young man I mentioned was getting a gift card to a grocery store so the recipient would have to use the card at that store.
post #14 of 14
Where I live we have something called "The Christmas Cheer Board"

http://www.christmascheerboard.ca/donations.php

It's a charitable corporation that accepts donations of both money and non-perishable food items and they put together food hampers for single people and families who need it, at Christmas. Children get a small gift.

People and companies can also sponsor a single or a family for that year and put together their own hamper based on an itemized listed provided. However, while you have to provide the items on the list, you can also add more. And you also get to deliver the hamper to the family you sponsored.

I was forced to get a food hamper last year because I was flat broke and had no food in the house. This year since I'm back at work, I did a shopping a couple weeks ago and put the items into Safeway's Christmas Cheer Board donations bin.

Unfortunately there are many who apply for food hampers who don't need them. I knew an elderly lady who had a pension of $1500 per month plus a great dividend cheque each month from her investments. She had always lived rather frugally and had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank when she retired. Her rent was $250.00 per month, she took a bus, and she had no bills of any kind. Yet she felt she was entitled to a food hamper because she was a senior and her monthly income from her pension qualified her for one. She's but one of many who abuse the system.
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