Journey Xmas Giving 2012

We often ask children what they want for Christmas, but seldom ask them the question, “What are you giving?”  As they eagerly anticipate opening their Christmas gifts, it’s important to remind them that everyone isn’t lucky enough to have gifts under their trees—or even have a tree for that matter.  But with a bit of help, there is so much that our little ones can do to help those in need during the holiday season.

After having this discussion with my daughter last year, she cracked open her sharing bank to buy toys for less fortunate children.  I matched what she had saved and took her to buy the gifts.  I gave her the budget and she chose items that she thought the children would like (she got such a kick out of managing a budget).  She was so excited about the process, that all she wanted was to make other children smile when they opened their gifts.   I also explained that when you bless others with your kindness, good things always happen to you.  The look on her face and the pride she felt about what she was able to accomplish by giving was the best gift I’ve ever received.  And she was just as eager to do it again this year.

This is the video of what she did last year.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6kRNV5Qvh4&w=560&h=315]

Here are 3 ways you can help your child decide what they are giving this holiday season:

1.  Buy a toy for another child.
Even if your child doesn’t have any money saved, you can still give them a small budget and let them pick out a toy to donate to a local charity or church to benefit a child in need.  You can also pick a tag from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree.  Angel Trees are decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents. Simply remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.  You can find the trees at malls, churches or enter your zip code and find the one nearest you.

2.  Donate used toys.
Explain that in an effort to make room for Santa’s delivery, some stuff has got to go.  We do this every Christmas and birthday.  Help your child decide which items they should donate and make sure they are items that are still in pretty good working condition.

3.  Make comfort cards for our troops.
With all of your loved ones around you during the holidays, it’s easy to forget our servicemen and servicewomen that often spend it away from their families.  Have your kids send a card of thanks to our troops this time—or anytime of the year to let them know how much their service is appreciated.

Do you have any other ways that children can give during the holiday season to share?

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1 comment on “3 Ways Your Child Can “Give” This Holiday Season”

  1. My daughter actually asked me without being prompted if she can donate some of her toys to other kids. We donate a lot during the year and it makes heart swell with pride that she’s learned the importance of giving back. I also, think if your children are old enough, volunteering at soup kitchens or cleaning up the yards for elderly community members are great ways to give back as well!

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