Do you have Christmas decorations that you no longer need? Don't just leave them in boxes or throw them out. Instead, donate your unwanted Christmas decorations so others can enjoy them. Whether you're looking for a new home for an artificial Christmas tree or other items, such as ornaments and lights, there are several options to consider.
Charitable Resale Stores
Charity resale stores are happy to accept Christmas ornaments as donations. These stores accept a wide variety of items, from household goods to clothing. They're always happy to receive donations of holiday decorations that are in good enough condition to sell to the bargain hunters who shop at their stores. The money raised from selling donated decorations goes to support the charitable work of the nonprofit organization that operates the thrift store you select.
Many organizations operate thrift stores, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, GreenDrop, and many others. This option is so easy because donations are generally accepted on-site any time the stores are open. If you regularly drive by a thrift store in your area, just pull in while you're running errands and drop off the decorations you no longer need. You may even be able to write off the value of the donation on your taxes.
Senior Citizen Centers
If you'd rather give your surplus Christmas decorations to an organization where they'll get used rather than be sold, there are plenty of options to consider. If there is a senior citizen center in your area that offers programs to the public, they may love to receive donated Christmas ornaments. Since these organizations often sponsor special events, it's not unusual for them to decorate for the Christmas season. If they already have plenty of decorations, they may still want yours to offer to members. Since many seniors live on a fixed income, they might feel especially blessed by your generous gift. Call and ask to speak to the development director or the person in charge of activities to inquire.
Nursing Homes/Senior Living Residences
Just as organizations that offer activities for senior citizens may accept donations of Christmas ornaments, the same may be true for nursing homes or senior living residences, such as retirement communities or assisted living facilities. They may be interested in your items to use in holiday crafting activities or to share with residents who wish to decorate their living quarters but can't afford to purchase such items. Facilities that operate with a very limited budget may also use them to decorate the building or grounds. Call and speak to the activities director or operations manager at facilities in your area.
Church Outreach Programs
Many churches offer programs to help people who are in financial need. If there is a church in your area that offers an outreach program focused on making items available to under-resourced families, they may be interested in adding Christmas donations to their inventory near the holiday season. If they give out bags of food, for example, they might want to add a touch of Christmas cheer by placing a few ornaments in each bag. Call and speak to the office staff to find out who coordinates receipt of donated items, then reach out to that individual once you know who to contact.
After School Programs
If there is an after school program in your area, chances are that it operates on a very limited budget with no funds allocated for holiday decorations. Start with groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs or the YMCA, or reach out to the United Way to see if they know of any need-based after-school programs that might appreciate donated Christmas decorations. Once you identify some local programs, simply call and ask the program director if they'd like to receive a donation of Christmas decorations. The items you share might be used to add Christmas cheer to the location, or be gifted to children who attend the program to use at home (with parental permission, of course).
If your neighborhood has a social media group or if you are a member of the nextdoor app, consider posting a notice specifying that you have a selection of holiday decorations that are free to anyone who would like them. Include a photo of the items so people will know exactly what it is that you are offering. It's likely that someone will immediately take you up on your offer. Just be safe when dealing with someone you don't know. Consider meeting the individual at a public location, like the parking lot at a busy store, to exchange the items. If you do know and trust the person, consider arranging a time for them to pick up the items from your porch.
Spread Christmas Cheer Through Donated Decorations
These are just a few suggestions for ways to give away Christmas decorations that you no longer need or want. No matter who you give them to, be sure the items are clean before giving them away. The people or organizations who are lucky enough to benefit from your generosity are sure to have a holiday season that's a bit more festive than it would have been if you just left those treasures stored away in a box or tossed them. Your donated items may help form treasured holiday memories and traditions for someone else.