Christmas Gift Shops — offering holiday cheer to veterans since 1928

Boston Gift Shop in 1965
Present-day Gift Shop. Photo by Iron Mountain VA Medical Center.

Christmas Gift Shops, historically hosted at VA Medical centers and Veterans Homes, allow veterans in these facilities to send gifts to their loved ones at no cost to them. A cherished tradition since 1928, American Legion Auxiliary volunteers collect donations or purchase items a veteran gift.

While Christmas Gift Shops may look different at each location, the experiences for volunteer and veteran are very similar. Imagine entering a common area beautifully arrayed in Christmas décor—blinking lights on a Christmas tree, holly, wreaths, bows, poinsettias, and a nativity scene. Brand new gifts for all ages adorn tables that line the room. A wrapping station takes center stage with beautiful boxes, paper, gift tags, ribbons and bows.

No one is left out. Volunteers make sure that veterans confined to their rooms are able to participate and offer to shop for them. Those who may not see their loved ones over the holidays can ship their gifts at no cost to them. Holiday cheer, smiles, and laughter fill the facility.

The American Legion Auxiliary and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee have established programs that continue to support servicemembers, veterans, and their families throughout the year. These programs continually need support from VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) and Service to Veterans volunteers. VAVS, a department within the VA, coordinates all volunteer services. If you have never volunteered, consider contacting your local American Legion Auxiliary unit or the Chief of Volunteer Services at your local VA.



  1. My husband is in the Community Living Center at the Waco VA Hospital, I received a set of towels (from him) as a Christmas gift from all of you. Just wanted to thank you all for all your work and kindnesses now and all year. Ellen Spinks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] During the holiday gift-giving season, many veterans don’t have the means to buy presentsfor their loved ones; so we open holiday shops in these health care facilities. These are big, scheduled, volunteer events where we donate items the veterans can select to give as gifts to their loved ones. Volunteers also offer gift-wrapping services and mail the gift if necessary. Probably not a lot of people know we do that, and yet, it’s one of the things veterans in VA centers appreciate the most about what we do. Read more about our holiday shops here. […]


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