When I ask kids what they like about Christmas, “presents” is the inevitable answer. Who can blame them? The expectation, the flurry of excitement, the new toys… Receiving gifts is no doubt a wonderful thing.
However, the other side of this exchange – giving – is wonderful, too. Giving is good for us. It’s good for our emotional health and our relationships. It can help us develop a sense of gratitude. Giving may even make kids happier than receiving.
While it’s easy for our kids to get caught up in the excitement of receiving gifts, it may take some conscious action to help them realize that the act of giving holds a magic all it’s own.
This season, I invite you to find opportunities that allow your children to experience the joy of giving. Below are 5 ideas to get you started.
Christmas Activities for Kids in the Spirit of Giving
- Make Holiday cards as a family rather than purchasing them. Include your kids in preparing them for mailing (kids can place stamps and seal envelopes) or giving them by hand.
- Make a donation. Involve your kids in finding items your family no longer needs to donate or invite them to help you choose a cause to support.
- Get baking. Find a simple but tasty recipe to bake with your kids. Muffins, fudge and cookies all make easy and tasty gifts. Invite your kids to help you wrap up the goods and distribute them.
- Wrap gifts together. Let go of the “perfect wrapping job” and encourage your kids get involved. Discuss each gift. Who is it for? What wrapping paper would they like? Allow your kids to get creative decorating packages for their loved ones. You can even make your own wrapping paper as a family.
- Give the gift of time. Have a friend who could use some help in the yard? Suggest that your family gives the gift of yard work. Maybe you know a mom who needs a break (don’t they all). Suggest a play date as a gift. Make sure your kids are onboard with helping before offering these gifts.