The holidays are a season of abundance for many of us; how do we teach our children to be grateful for all that is showered upon them? Teach the joy of giving (not just receiving), focus on helping those less fortunate, and appreciating each gift as it is received.
The Joy of Giving
Instead of buying a gift for a child to give their grandparent, teacher or coach, help them make something instead. Yummy baking, homemade ornaments, or even a handmade card will give your child a greater sense of being involved in giving, not just receiving.
Help Those With Less
It is often easy to write a cheque to a favourite charity, and the funds are always needed, but consider doing something more tangible with your child.
- Have them participate in grocery shopping for the local food bank. Get them to write up a list, then help pick it out at the store. Be sure to stick to the Food Bank’s most needed items.
- Wrap, decorate and fill a shoebox for The Shoebox Project for Woment. Be sure to follow their guidelines.
- Gift the special people in their lives with Christmas cards that support the education of girls in Africa through One Girl Can.
- Take your kids shopping to buy new toys to donate to a toy drive such as the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau or the Salvation Army Toy Mountain at Guildford Town Centre Surrey.
- Practice random acts of kindness with the kids: Have the kids help shovel your neighbours walk, rake up those wet leaves, hold the door open for someone, do a chore for someone without them knowing, make cards or cookies for the neighbours or buy a hot chocolate for the person behind you in line.
- Have your kids pick out a tree from Aunt Leah’s tree lots, or any of the 100% volunteer run charity tree lots.
- Simplify the Season is an easy way to donate essentials directly to families in need via the YWCA’s Holiday Giving Program. (The popular Presents of Peace Holiday Hamper program is already waitlisted for 2019!)
Teach Gift-Receiving Etiquette
It is very easy for kids to get caught up in the consumer-fueled frenzy of frantically unwrapping without pausing for breath. Prior to holiday events, be sure to talk about proper thank you’s, the importance of appreciating each gift, and how to handle being given something they may not like. And of course, be sure to model those behaviours for them.
Updated by Harriet Fancott in 2019