In our house, we often tell our kids that Christmas is about giving. We talk about Jesus and what the holiday really means to us. With all of the hustle, it's easy to get lost in the mix and forget what we're really trying to teach our kids about giving.
I want to share a few things you can do to teach kids about GIVING this holiday season.
Send Christmas Cards
Charlie sat with me tonight and helped me stuff our Christmas cards. We talked about why we send Christmas cards: because it cheers people up and it gives them a nice picture of our family. Christmas cards are a simple way to say hello and brighten up someone's day, especially those you don't see often.
Shutterfly provided our cards this year and I really love that they have a pop-out picture in them, so families can save the picture instead of tossing the whole card at the end of the season.
Volunteer at a Food Bank or Kitchen
Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to participate differently. This is the first year I feel I can take Charlie to help at one of the kitchens in our area. It's a great lesson in giving to those less fortunate than we are and seeing it first-hand.
You can also collect food and take it to your local food bank. This is something even the smallest child can help you do.
Bake Cookies and Share
What kid doesn't like helping mom in the kitchen?
Let them know they're baking cookies to share with neighbors, the mailman, their school bus driver, or their teacher. Then, let them pick out a few more people they'd like to give cookies to.
Adopt a Local Kid
Our MOMS Club adopts children each year from one of our local schools. I usually adopt a couple, but try to make sure at least one is a kid Charlie can relate to and he can help pick out the gift.
This year we wound up with an 8 year old boy who likes LEGO. It was hard for Charlie to pick something he knew he couldn't keep, but he was pretty excited and proud of his selections for a kid that won't end up with much this year.
Donate Used Toys
Like many kids, our boys have way too many toys and we're working on paring it down to those they really use. What better time to clean out the toys than the holiday season? There are so many kids that would love some of the well-cared-for toys that our boys are not using.
While I know you'd love to go in and toss it all in a bag and be done, involve your kids. I think it's important for them to know what is happening and for them to choose which toys they would like to give to kids that are not as lucky as they are. You may be surprised with the toys they decide to donate.
Give a Meaningful Gift
This holiday season, join CARE for an unforgettable holiday gift experience. When we received the 2016 Holiday Gift Catalog from CARE, I sat down with Charlie and talked to him about the special gifts in this catalog that we could give to someone that really needs them.
We talked about some of the girls in the catalog, like Evelesi. She lives in Malawi and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
Through December 16, the girls (and their families) who are profiled in CARE’s annual gift catalog, will be sharing their stories and interacting with the public on the CARE facebook page. This is an incredible opportunity to see the impact of giving like never before.
While flipping through the catalog, Charlie noticed the animals and we talked about how we are able to gift a goat, chickens, and other animals. He thought that was cool, but was even more impressed when I told him what these girls would use the animals for: an income source as well as food for their own family.
Give a gift, change a life. When you do your holiday shopping with CARE, your money directly impacts women and girls around the world who need it most! Contributions to the catalog strengthen communities and empower individuals to be independent and successful.
I'd love to hear some of your own ideas on how you teach your kids about giving, especially during the holiday season.