Today’s a very special day! It’s the beginning of our new guest posting series here on My Love for Words.
Today’s post is from Allison at Frugal on the Prairie, and she’s sharing a bunch of great ways to give during the holidays for kids. So, without further adieu, here’s Allison!
Our children are constantly watching and learning from our examples, especially during the holidays. Perhaps you show your daughter the best way to roll out the cookie dough or you teach your son how to decorate the Christmas tree. As parents, we want them to have the most fulfilling holiday season possible.
An important piece of that fulfillment is making sure we are giving our time and energy to those in need. There are many opportunities to do this and some of them are even free. Here are the best ways your kids can give during the holidays!
Random Acts of Kindness
It can be hard for young children to comprehend how giving money is actually helping someone, so don’t feel like monetary donations are your only choice.
There are plenty of holiday projects that keep your friends and family stressed and busy. Encourage your children to help hang lights, set up decorations, rake leaves, or any other tasks. Gently remind them that a big part of giving is not receiving any payment in return. For even more random acts of kindness (ROAK) ideas, be sure to check out these posts: RAOK 1-20, RAOK 21-40, RAOK 41-60.
Show Their Appreciation
Giving back to your community doesn’t have to be about the money so don’t put yourself in financial stress over this tip.
Help your child think of someone they are particularly thankful for this year. Then have them show their appreciation by gifting a plate of cookies or creating a “Thank You” card with construction paper.
For example, our local librarians are always very patient when my energetic (and sometimes chaotic) family comes to visit. Because of this, we like to bring them a plate of treats and a handmade card during the holidays. It’s a great way to say, “Our family appreciates the work you do!”
Donate Clothes & Toys
One of the fastest ways to help children understand the concept of giving is to have them personally donate some of their own items. Perhaps they have clothes that no longer fit or toys that have been forgotten on the shelves.
Gently encourage them to choose items they think other children may enjoy or need, explaining how others may not have the same comforts they do. Kids can be surprisingly generous when we give them the freedom to choose what to donate.
Create a Charity Jar
Giving isn’t always about the money, but it can certainly help those in need. Place a family Charity Jar out where everyone can see it. Encourage your kids to toss in any loose change they find or any part of their allowance they’re willing to give.
You can also draw a line on the jar and make it a family goal to fill it up to that point before Christmas. This is a great way to get your family working together as a team!
Participate in Your Local Charity Programs
Depending on their age, your child can help local charities in a few different ways. Obviously, if they’re older they could donate their time and energy. If they’re younger, they can help choose a gift for someone in need.
Please note that if they’re really young, they may become confused about picking out a toy and then not being able to keep it. In this case, I always recommend a care package with clothes, food, or toiletries. It is appreciated just as much, if not sometimes more! This makes the giving experience a positive one for your younger children.
Visit the Senior Center
Check your local senior centers to see if they participate in a program like Baby Buddies, which is where parents and their babies make a short visit to a local nursing home. It certainly brightens the residents’ day to see little ones!
You can also set up a time to visit all of your older relatives or friends who may be feeling lonely. The holiday season is the perfect time to show people you’re thinking about them.
Every family has a budget but thankfully, giving doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make a large monetary donation.
Remind your child that it’s the thought that counts by gently encouraging them to spread the good cheer. Holding the door for others, saying please and thank you, or helping a parent or sibling clean a room are just some of the many things they can do to give this holiday season.
Aren’t those absolutely wonderful ideas for this holiday season and really all year round! I really hate that my kids can be so focused on what they’re receiving instead of what we’re truly celebrating.
For years now, I’ve been saying I want to do more with my kids in service of others, and this year we’re going to finally take action, and we’ll be using many of Allison’s great tips.
Which ideas will you be doing this holiday season?
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