Teaching Kids the Importance of Giving During the Holiday Season
It’s early still but thoughts of Christmas are already taking over our house. At age 3, Liam is old enough to be excited for Santa, the Elf on the Shelf and of course, PRESENTS. I love that he’s excited about Christmas. I’m an unabashed Christmas enthusiast myself (we may have already started listening to Christmas carols in our house). But, what I don’t necessarily love is what he’s excited about when it comes to Christmas. For him, and for most kids I’m sure, it’s all about what they get. I’m certainly guilty of buying into the materialism of Christmas myself along with pretty much anything else that adds to the magic of Christmas for Liam. He’s young, I want Christmas to be a magical and joyful time for him. But, I also want him to understand that the real magic and joy of Christmas is about giving – both to those we love and to those we don’t even know. The magic of taking time to slow down and spend time with family. The magic of being kind and generous even when there is nothing in it for us.
So, I’m trying to make sure I’m incorporating some things into his Christmas that will help to expand the magic of Christmas to include kindness and generosity into the mix. Here are my ideas so far.
The Holidays: Teaching Kids the Importance of Giving
Gratitude Crafting: I try to make sure that even at age 3, Liam realizes how fortunate we are for all the good things we have in our life. We’re planning on participating in the Voices of Gratitude: What Are You Thankful For? campaign Bright Horizons is doing right now as an activity to get him thinking about all the things he can be grateful for.
Re-imagined Elf on the Shelf: We have one but I must admit, I’ve never really gotten into it. I saw a post a few weeks back about Kindness Elves as a alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. I’m thinking we may just re-imagine our Elf as one who praises, encourages and completes acts of kindness.
Donate toys/books: A friend recently told me she takes the pre-holiday period as a chance to sit down with her children to pare down on toys in anticipation of the Christmas influx. She had her children participate and go with her to donate them so they could talk about giving to people who have less than we do. I loved this idea and think we’ll be copying it in our house.
Gift Giving: I want to make sure Liam gets to be a part of the joy of giving gifts as well as receiving them. I’m going to start slow by having him help to pick out and wrap small gifts for his grandparents and be a part of the gift picking process for a local Adopt-a-Family program.
How are you teaching your kids about the importance of giving this holiday season?
- Parenting Webinar: Raising a Socially Responsible Child, Part 1 & Part 2
- E-family news: Raising Caring & Giving Children
- E-family news: Teaching Children Generosity – Giving & Getting During the Holiday Season
- Read more posts about social responsibility and posts about Christmas from the Family Room bloggers