Christmas is fast approaching. It’s a time of joy, of love, of togetherness. It’s also a time of giving, compassion and kindness.
Here’s how you can teach your kids the warm, fuzzy side of Christmas this year.
For kids, especially little ones, it can be hard to grasp the true meaning behind giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. With fond memories of indulgence, opening awesome presents and waiting for Santa to arrive, it can be hard for the deeper meanings to sink in.
The good news: the simple act of reflecting on how much they appreciate what they’ve received helps most kids grasp the spirit of Christmas. It can help to talk out loud about how special it is that Grandma spent all those hours knitting their new socks, how much time and effort Mum and Dad spent to put on such a wonderful Christmas lunch, and how thoughtful their classmates were to write them a Christmas card.
From there, it’s not too hard to make the connection to how thankful others feel when they receive kindness from your kids. It’s a beautiful thing when your children put themselves in others’ shoes. They realize how nice they themselves would feel if a stranger smiled at them on the street if they received a crafty gift with so much love and time put in, if someone helped them when they were in need.
It really feels special to know you made somebody’s day, week or year. And your kids will love the feeling.
With most things in life, it’s the thoughtfulness behind an act that really matters. Teaching your kids to recognize the thoughtfulness behind each gift, whether it be materialistic or a kind and loving act, will really drive this lesson home.
For example, a well-thought-out gift for a sibling or family member is precious, a painting made with love just for Dad is priceless, and a kind letter listing all the reasons you love someone is a really special gift from the heart.
An easy way to do this with your kids is to make crafty gifts together, or just talk it out and embrace the warm feelings that come with reflecting on giving.
Giving cards to the whole class at school is a beautiful way to teach your kids to give thought and kindness to everyone. You can pick up pretty cheap mini cards at most two-dollar stores, which is a great way to go. After all, it’s the thought that counts!
Giving to those in need
Christmas is one of those extra-special times where you can teach your kids compassion, give to those in need and do something special, which means the world to somebody else.
It feels REALLY good to give to those in need. And every little bit goes a long way to brightening someone else’s day.
Here are some ideas for kid-friendly giving to get you started:
- Donate tinned foods and perishables to a food drive.
- Find an organization that puts on free food to those in need, and donate your excess food.
- Pick a charity and donate what you can.
- Give charity donation vouchers as gifts to family members. You can adopt a child, adopt an endangered animal, or simply make a donation in someone’s name to a cause they’re passionate about.
- Buy gifts from organizations where proceeds to go charity.
- Go to your home and put anything you don’t need in a box to donate to an op shop. Like clothes you don’t wear, household items you don’t use – anything that you don’t need that could help someone else.
- Donate to toy drives.
- Buy a gift for the Kmart Wishing Tree or Salvation Army gift appeal.
- Visit an elderly home on Christmas Eve with the kids and have them sing Christmas carols, give out flowers and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Giving doesn’t mean you need to go beyond your means. You can donate as little as a can of baked beans to a food drive, or as much as you like to any charity. Every little bit helps, and you’ll feel really good. Your kids will feel it too, learning compassion from giving.
Reaching out to family & friends
The act of giving is also about sharing the love and spending the time to reconnect to those around you. Whether it’s catching up for a BBQ, dropping around for a coffee or simply picking up the phone, Christmas holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family. If you’re feeling a little awkward about connecting with old friends, wishing them a Merry Christmas is the perfect excuse!
Spread the holiday cheer!
It doesn’t matter what you get, or what you eat at Christmas. What matters is time spent together, the acts of sharing and giving, kindness and love, thoughtfulness, appreciation and enjoying the true spirit of Christmas!
We hope this guide helps you enjoy and embrace the true spirit of Christmas this year with your little bundles of joy.
Enjoy reading this article? You can read more in our Springfree Beyond the Bounce blog.
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