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As we head screaming into the holiday season, our kids are already circling, cutting, and dissecting the sales pages and catalogues that appear on our doorstep. Their only goal is to make sure that we are aware of what they want. Because that’s what the holiday season is all about, right? Well, at least to kids it is. That’s why we make sure we are intentional about letting our kids know that giving is just as important, if not more, than receiving.
Here are a few tips that I’ve pulled together on how you can help your kids “get it” when it comes to giving to others this holiday season.
1.) Have a family meeting and talk about ways that you can give this holiday season. This shifts the mindset from what kids will get and into what they can give. Kids will love feeling like they are a part of the process from the beginning.
2.) Check to see if your church or place of worship has any campaigns you can get involved with. Our church normally has a tree that has requests from families on it. You can take a request and then fulfill it to make sure that family has a good Christmas. One time we picked a request asking for a brand new PlayStation, but normally the requests are manageable.
3.) Check with local organizations to see if they have programs and campaigns that you can get involved with. For the past few years, we’ve participated in Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. You pack a shoebox full of supplies, such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, and then drop them off. Then they are delivered to needy children around the world. Our kids really get into the process. We allow them to pack a box for a child their age. It also reminds them that there are children who are less fortunate than them, and that they really do have a great life.
4.) Take the family to lend a hand locally. Helping to feed the hungry or packing food at the local food bank can be fun, fulfilling, and life-changing for you and your young ones. You can identify local organizations by finding them on the web, then reaching out to inquire about helping. Don’t forget that these organizations also need help after the holidays and throughout the year.
5.) Call your local children’s hospital to see if you can help to add cheer to a young child there. The only thing sadder than a sick child may be a sick child around the holidays. I’m sure all of the kids who are forced to spend their holidays at the hospital wish they could be at home, even more than normal, so this is a great time to see what you can do to take their mind off of the illness.
These are just a few ideas to get you started with your kids. Good luck and happy holidays!