At a time of excess and overindulgence we try to encourage the kids to give back at Christmas time. It’s important for them to realise there is more to Christmas than getting presents. To us it’s about family, generosity and compassion and we’re trying to instil those values in our children.
There are so many different ways to give back this Christmas. Here’s just a few ideas.
Donate old toys
In the lead up to Christmas we try to get the house organised and part of that is sorting out the toys the children no longer play with. We then donate them to various different charities. The kids enjoy knowing that there’s still life in the toys that they no longer play with.
Donate to the food bank
For the past two years we have started a Christmas tradition of collecting food throughout December to donate to the food bank. Each day from the 1st of December we add tinned food, cereals and other essentials to our “giving box” and we drop it off on Christmas Eve. It teaches the children how lucky they are and they enjoy putting the box together and adding to it.
The kids go to a Christian school and they are taught a lot about giving back to the community and to those in need. Each Christmas the school does a shoebox appeal. The children help me fill shoeboxes with small gifts, and the school sends off the boxes to children who otherwise might not receive anything at Christmas. The kids enjoy picking out little presents and it teaches them the importance of giving at Christmas, not just receiving.
Help local charities
It’s estimated that almost 1 in 4 children in the UK are living in poverty. That shockingly high statistic inspires us to do what we can for those children, particularly those in our area. Our local radio station has a “Mission Christmas” where the listeners are encouraged to pick up one extra present when doing their Christmas shopping. We’ve done this for the past few years and it’s equally lovely and heartbreaking listening to the fundraising efforts on the radio.
Help the homeless
My sister and her colleagues are currently doing a slightly different shoebox appeal, where they’re collecting items for those without a home to go this Christmas. Hats, toothbrushes, deodorants, all things we may take for granted but could make a massive difference to those in need.
I’ve also seen a charity making lunches for the homeless. It’s something you could do as a family, making sandwiches and putting together items to make up a lunch.
We’re hoping that reminding the children to give back during the festive period, it will encourage them to spread a little kindness the whole year round.
Do you do anything particularly charitable during the festive season? Let me know in the comments!