Five Ways to Teach Your Children to Give at Christmas

8:17 AM

The holiday season can be wonderful fun for children. However, the amount of consumerism targeting children at this time of year can foster a "gimme" mentality in your children. To avoid your family missing out on the beauty and charity of the season, here are five ways to teach them to give instead of get at Christmas.

  1.  Create a family Charity Jar. Have your whole family donate to the jar. Try skipping that morning latte once a week, or gather up the spare change in your car to throw a few coins or dollars a week into your family jar. Encourage your kids to donate a portion of their allowance or birthday money to the jar. Once your jar is full, use the internet to research charities that support causes that interest your children. For instance if your children are animal lovers perhaps you can use the money to donate toys or food to the local animal shelter. The most important part is to let them be a part of the process.
  2. Let your children help shop for gifts for another family members, friends or a neighbor. If you want your children to understand the joy of giving, let them give. Take your children to an inexpensive thrift store or a dollar store, sometimes local churches have a holiday sale where kids can go buy items for a dollar or two. You can also bake cookies to give to neighbors and family members.
  3. It's not all about money. Have your family give the gift of time and companionship. Family out of time, have your children put together a holiday video message for the family that can't be there. Visit and elderly neighbor and see if they need any help with household chores. Walk the dog of a sick friend. 
  4. Serve the needy. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens need all the help they can get during the holidays. Sign your family up for a shift serving a holiday dinner. Donate canned goods to a food drive. Let your kids help decorate and deliver the baskets to a needy .
  5. When Christmas morning finally arrives take turns opening gifts. Let each family member open one gift and wait until everyone else has opened a gift before taking another turn.. This allows everyone to see what the other person received, slows down that frenzy of ripping open gifts and moving on. This helps the children appreciate each gift and teaches patience and respect.

With a little planning and ingenuity you and your family can have loads of fun giving and getting this holiday season.

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