Gratitude and giving are things that my parents instilled in me growing up. Holiday giving with kids is a one way you can do the same this year. And it can be a fun family activity. Things like preparing and serving food at soup kitchens and homeless shelters is a tradition for some families. Others participate in food donation and toy collections activities. There are all kinds of opportunities to give this time of year whether it be time, talent or treasure.
The official “Giving Tuesday” may have been last week, however, who says it should be limited to one day. Many churches, charities and civic organizations have programs where you can “adopt” a child or family for Christmas. NBC2 has a gift giving program geared towards seniors. Christmas is not just for the little kids. The big kids and our elders yearn for recognition as well.
My brother and sister-in-law and their three boys signed up for one of these programs. It provides Christmas cheer to underserved children in their community. I tagged along. In fact, I was having so much fun watching them gather items to donate, I joined in. Experts say one of the best ways to teach kids is to be an example
How the giving with kids worked
The idea was to fill a shoebox with a variety of items. Suggested items included necessities like school supplies and socks. Then also something fun, a toy, game, etc. Just as long as it fit in the box. The kids were in agreement that they would use a certain amount of their own money, not just mom and dad’s. It gave them a different kind of “investment” in the giving project.
First step was to pick a gender and age to give to. Each of my nephews picked boys in their age group. I picked a girl, age 3-5. Next, we canvassed the toy aisles of target.
I’ve been in the toy section of Target with these kids before and it has been pandemonium. But all three were lasered focus on finding gifts for their designated child rather than themselves. It was pretty cool. We finished the boxes with socks, magic makers and such. Later, the boys assembled the boxes, made sure each item was arranged and fit perfectly. Finally, on Monday, the boxes were dropped off and the response was amazing.
Giving gifts to friends and loved ones can often be stressful. This was fun. If finances are tight, give of your time and talent. Giving has many faces. If you have the ability to enjoy some holiday giving with kids, do it. It’s important to encourage and nurture the next generation of generosity. Now is a great time to start.