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It is easy to get caught up in spoiling our kids during the holidays. I love how excited Zoey gets about Easter, Halloween, Birthdays, etc. and always go out of my way to try and make those days really special for her. It is so important to remember to teach kids to give and be selfless though. This aspect of Christmas is too often and easily forgotten by us parents. Below are five simple things Kris and I have done to help encourage Zoey to give at Christmas. There is also a giveaway in the middle of this post, you could win $100-500 worth of gift giving supplies for the holidays, so keep scrolling!
1. Go Caroling!
This is a tradition my parents passed down. We would always get a crowd together and go visiting all the neighbors. We would bring cookies, chocolates or some small gift that my mom had prepared to give each neighbor. It became something our small community looked forward to and expected. As a kid I could see how much it meant to some of the people we visited and that made me feel excited to give. Even young kids can sense the happiness they share when they give something and helping them feel this is a great way to teach kids to give.
2. Elf Your Neighbors
I thought of this when I came across this elfing printable. The idea is that you elf your friend and then they elf theirs, and so forth. Elfing is all about paying it forward and spreading Christmas spirit. It is a fun process to watch and kids get caught up in the excitement, it makes giving fun.
To elf your friends and gift wrap their door
- Create a small gift for your neighbor, chocolates or cookies might be nice, check this website for some inspiration if you can’t think of anything.
- Include this printable in the gift.
- Grab your wrapping paper, scissors and tape.
- Head to your friends house when they are out of the house and gift wrap their door!
- Roll out a piece of wrapping paper as tall as their door and tape it at the top and bottom.
- Fold pieces or wrapping paper to look like ribbon and tape one piece lengthwise and one across the width of the door.
- Place a giant bow and then tape your elfing printable to the door as well.
- Drop your gift on their doorstep and head home.
We got all the wrapping paper, ribbons and cards for our ‘elfing’ at Walmart. The American Greetings gifting section has a huge selection of affordable gifting supplies. Let your kids help pick out the wrapping paper and ribbons. Letting them feel involved is a great way to teach kids to give. Use this ibotta offer for $2 off your gifting supplies.
3. Donate Toys & Clothes
Christmas is a great time to clean out your closet. We went through Zoey’s closet and she had an entire huge storage tote full of toys she almost never plays with. Most of them were in great condition. Together we brought them to be donated and I talked to her about why we donate and how it will help other kids. She was actually really excited to give her toys! Even though she is only three it seemed like she really understood what we were doing and why it was important.
4. Choose Children The Same Age As Yours From A Local Angel Tree
This is something my parents did with us as kids. They would find a local angel tree and then choose children from the angel tree that were the same ages and genders as us kids. They would bring us to the store and let us pick out things for the child our age. I will never forget choosing out a Christmas dress and some of my favorite toys from the store for another little girl my age when I was about 11. I think that was the first year I really understood how blessed we were and how many people were less fortunate. Which helped me realize why it is so important to give. Choosing someone that I could so easily relate to from the angel tree and putting so much thought into the process taught be a lot about giving.
5. Do A Family White Elephant Gift Exchange
We do this every year with my family and it really adds excitement to giving. If your kids don’t have an allowance give them a budget to help them shop for a white elephant gift. We often choose a theme for our white elephant exchanges, which makes it even more fun. We often do funny gifts as the theme, but you could really do anything! It could be sweet treats, games, a favorite movie or even something totally wacky like clowns! The idea is just to make the gift giving process fun, funny and memorable.
Planning Christmas and shopping for my kids is one of my favorite reasons to be a parent during the holidays. But it is super important to take time to teach kids to give, I think it is part of our responsibility in raising the future generation. These tips are just a start, the most important thing (I think) is to set an example for your kids by being a generous, giving person yourself.
What family giving traditions do you have? How do you help teach your kids to give at Christmas? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win $100-500 worth of giving supplies from American Greetings!
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