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Published November 7th 2014
Teaching kids about Christmas giving
If you have young kids (under 10 years old) you are probably astounded by how much "stuff" they are given for Christmas. Not just by yourself or the big man in red, but from well meaning grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbours. While there is nothing wrong with this I sometimes wonder if they are missing out on the spirit of giving during the festive season.
If you are like me and want to teach your kids about Christmas giving here are some ideas:
1. Clean up and clear out - a good place to start is by making room for new Christmas gifts. I find it is a good idea to do a big clean out of the kids rooms & toys about a month or so before Christmas. Throw away broken toys but anything in good condition, and working order that the kids don't want any more, can be donated to a local charity store. Or if appropriate you could ask the local preschool / day care centre if they are interested in donations. It is important to make sure the kids are involved in this process.
2. Ask the kids to choose a charity to make a donation to at Christmas in lieu of one of their gifts. This is a great way o get them thinking about others who are less fortunate than themselves and about "giving" at Christmas.
Advent Calendars are traditionally used to count down the days until Christmas. Our Advent Calendar has little pockets in which you can place a small gift, treat or a note each day of Advent. I use ours as a fun countdown but also to schedule in all of the things we usually do in preparation for Christmas - e.g. writing Christmas cards & letters to Santa.
I think it is important that the kids know that it is not all about them so I also add some "Christmas giving" items to our Advent Calendar. These could include:
i. wrap a gift for the Wishing Tree ii. write Christmas cards for your friends iii. bake some Christmas treats for family or neighbours
iv.deliver Christmas cards to neighbours
There are still little treats or gifts every other day and on Christmas Eve the kids can put cookies and milk out for Santa or you can make up a jar of reindeer food to scatter on the front lawn.