Each Holiday season children race for the toy catalogues, eagerly circling everything they hope to find under the tree. They write lists to Santa and beg parents for that special something they just can’t live without.
It is a fun, age-old tradition. This year though, why not shake it up a bit and throw in a couple of catalogues that don’t come from a store? There are some wonderful charities that promote the true spirit of the season. Giving.
Once you and your children have decided on your charity of choice, now is the time to discuss the giving. Talk about what the gift they have chosen will do. How will a village benefit from fruit trees? What will the medical supplies do? Ask what they think if must be like to live like some of the children they will help. How will their gift impact lives? This is a great way to raise awareness with your children.
Have your children pick out gifts for their teachers, their bus drivers, their Headmasters. Usually the charity will send you a gift card your children can sign and give to the recipient. Have them decorate the envelope or even wrap it in a pretty box.
If you think your child is ready, ask them to swap one thing on their list for a gift for someone else. Maybe they’d like to give soccer balls or toys. If they’re young they can include it on their list to Santa. Bonus points parents if you leave a lovely note from Santa under the tree thanking them for their kindness.
If your children are older and save to buy gifts for others, tell them you’d like a chicken this year. Or a goat. Maybe even a mosquito net. Maybe you’d like to give a larger gift from the whole family. Finally, consider modeling the behaviour for them. Maybe your husband would like a stocked medical clinic?
Happy Holidays from my family to yours.
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