Christmas is a magic time – but it can also bring out a bad case of the gimmes in our kids!
Christmas can mean even the most generous spirited children are more focused on what they want to get rather than what they can give.
But the real Christmas spirit is about giving – rather than gifts. Dr Seuss may have been on to something in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ when he wrote:
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” Dr Seuss.
So here are some great ways you can help your kids learn the spirit of giving this Christmas!
1. Donate old toys, books and clothes
A pre-Christmas clean out is a simple way to help your children understand the idea of giving to others – and cleaning out the unwanted and unused items in your home. Here is a super cute idea using your Elf on a Shelf!
2. Put together a Christmas feast
Having your child help you shop for groceries to give to a family in need is a great way to have a conversation about helping others, and there are many charities who will gratefully take your food donations.
3. Donate time to others
Helping others can be a lovely way to get the Christmas spirit flowing and encourage your child to give. A neighbour, family member or friend can be a great place to start.
4. Arrange a food or toy donation point
Helping your child organise a food or toy donation point at their school or day care can be fun – making posters, setting up a collection point and then collecting the donated goods and taking them to a charity.
5. Find a wishing tree
Many stores collect donations for charities during the Christmas season, such as Kmart’s wishing tree appeal. Letting your child choose and wrap a gift to place under a wishing tree can be a great practical way to help them think of others.
6. Give a gift to give to charity
The well known saying of giving your child ‘one thing they want, one thing they need and one thing to read’ can be extended to include ‘one thing to give’. The idea is that you place a gift under the tree labelled as your child’s ‘giving gift’ – one to not be unwrapped but taken to be donated.
7. Find secret ways of giving
Kids love finding secret ways of being part of the Christmas magic! Perhaps your child can bake Christmas treats or pick flowers to leave on a teacher’s desk, neighbour’s doormat or in a family member’s letterbox. It may seem simple, but can be a powerful way of sharing with your child the joy of giving.
8. Make giving part of pocket money
You may have heard of the three pocket money jars – one for saving, one for spending and one for sharing. Christmas can be a great time for your child to choose a charity to give their ‘sharing’ money.
9. Sponsor a child as a family
Sponsoring a child as a family is a wonderful way to help others in need and teach your children about the spirit of giving. And it means the Christmas spirit can extend all year round!
Teaching your children empathy for others can be hard – to help check out these great charitable Christmas gift ideas!