December is the month most people run around buying holiday gifts for loved ones. But Jack and I have been busy getting gifts for total strangers. Our family made the decision not to buy gifts for each other this year. Don’t feel bad for us, because we are taking a family trip to Peru instead.
But Jack and I have still been busy picking up gifts for others as part of a toy and puzzle drive for underprivileged families at our school. It always feels good to buy a gift for someone who might otherwise not have a gift to open this holiday season.
The puzzle drive is a little unusual. Our school is collecting puzzles, some of which we will keep in our school library. Others will be donated to PS83, a school in Harlem.
Truthfully, Jack and I aren’t much into jigsaw puzzles. But I did some research and found out they can be helpful for brain activity. Don’t take my word for it. Check out this blog.
“There have been several studies like the MacArthur Study, that has found that people who have been used to doing jigsaw puzzles as well as cross word and were fully active stood to gain a longer life span and also lesser chances of falling prey to Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia and other old age problems”–Social Psychiatry Blog
I learned that when a person is solving a puzzle, their brain produces a chemical known as dopamine that helps with learning and memory. I bet it also helps reduce stress.
But, like I said, Jack and I aren’t much into puzzles. Fortunately, we were able to get some donations from friends and donate those. The Rodriguez family, who we know from nursery school, donated three puzzles, including this cute 500 piece one which is appropriate this time of year.
Someone will enjoy completing it. We like the idea that we are helping get donations that will not only be fun for a family or child but also possibly help their memory and learning.