It is important to teach the kids how important giving can be but also to teach them that it can be fun! Get the kids excited by telling them that Santa needs some extra helpers this year. One way parents can up the excitement is by creating "letters from Santa" personally asking the kids to help him this year by giving some extra gifts. Once the kids are on board, parents can help them think of some creative ways to exercise giving during the Christmas season.
Finding the Right Way to Give
It can be easy for a child to immediately think of their friends at school for giving opportunities. While that can be a good idea, parents should try to help their kids lean more towards individuals or families who are struggling more this year with purchasing presents, affording Christmas dinner or finding a way to be home for the holidays. A few options can be putting together shoe box kits for local churches to send to children abroad, choosing a name off of an angel tree, adopting a family for Christmas or sending a care package to a soldier. This can be a great way for the kids to learn the importance of, not only giving to friends and family, but giving to strangers who need a helping hand.
Another option is to make homemade treats for friends or families who may be tight on money this year. Parents can have the kids choose their favorite cookies to bake and take to a friend's house or make homemade cards for the elderly couple that lives down the street. Other options are creating Christmas ornaments, making snack kits or cooking a full meal.
Talk About It
While getting something together or making something with the kids, parents should talk to the kids about why it is important and how it makes them feel. They should explain to their kids that, while getting presents feels great, giving them can feel great too. Parents can also talk to their kids about what it could mean to a family in need to receive something when they may not have been able to in the past. Once the kids have given their gifts, parents should ask them how it made them feel and why they think it is important. This can involve the kids even further and be the first step towards giving opportunities in the future. It is important that kids not only do something for others, but know why they are doing it as well.
This year, have Christmas be the season of giving, not the season of getting. So parents, roll out the paper and start wrapping the joy of giving around all the kids!