The festive season is the perfect time of year to teach children and teenagers the spirit of giving. For younger generations, it’s easy to focus on consumer goods and how many gifts are under the tree, missing the true meaning of Christmas. Showing your kids some easy ways they can give to others, especially those who are less fortunate, will make Christmas more meaningful and rewarding. Understanding that giving and being charitable is also an important lesson to learn at a young age and is something you can revisit again and again.
Charity gifts, experiences, and time
It’s so easy for kids to get wrapped up in what they will be receiving for Christmas, so why not try and shift this mentality slightly? Instead, during the festive season encourage each family member to provide an experience or give their time to each other, instead of buying material gifts. This can be as simple as organising a fun family game night or offering to spend the afternoon baking something of your child’s choice. You could also get your kids to ask for charitable gifts from relatives instead of the latest computer game. Oxfam have some fantastic charitable gifts to consider this Christmas. Ranging from buying a goat for a family in Africa, providing safe drinking water for 100 people, or supporting a refugee, they all make a difference.
Donate to a food bank
According to Love Food Hate Waste every Christmas we throw away the equivalent of 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies. That’s a lot of wasted food! As parents, don’t be afraid of talking about topics like this with your kids – it’s a great way to help them realise the importance of not wasting for the sake of it. Show them that an easy way to help out during the festive season is to donate any spare food to your local food bank. You could even suggest that instead of one of their usual festive gifts they use the money to shop for groceries specifically to give to a food donation point. Find your nearest food bank here.
Christmas Shoe Box
Teaching your children to be charitable is a great gift for them to learn and can be extremely rewarding. During the festive season it’s a fantastic idea for your kids to put together a Christmas box for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Just a small shoe box can have a really big impact and often change another child’s life. There’s even a whole collection of videos you can watch showing the journey of a shoe box and how children react when they receive one. For ideas of what to include in your box, check here. Alternatively, you can pack a shoe box online for £20.