Tis’ the season of giving!

The spirit of giving is something we want to instill in our children all year long, and the holiday season seems like the best place to start. Why? Because it really is the season of generosity and abundance for many of us. It’s a state of mind that lives vibrantly around Christmas and children should be a part of it!

Giving is simply offering a small part of the abundance we have. Being generous with what we have not only builds a strong foundation for a kind heart, but it is actually shown to enhance our sense of purpose and boost our mental health! Here are a couple ways that we can include children in the spirit of giving this holiday season:

1. Let your child help you pick out a gift for someone.

We know it can sometimes be frustrating going to the store with kids. It can be difficult for them to focus and they can easily get tired. So make this a focused shopping trip where the primary goal is to let them pick out one or two gifts. Whether it is for a teacher, a friend, or just simply one you will donate, letting them choose what they will give is an important part of the process. Choose an age appropriate technique for them to help. If you want to buy their friend a puzzle, allow them to help by picking a puzzle of their choice.

2. Make family togetherness the focus.

Children are rightfully excited about the presents during the holiday season. But instead of focusing on the material things, draw their attention to family and togetherness. Go out and see Christmas lights, attend a holiday parade, or play board games. Find ways for the family to spend time and appreciate each other while making memories!

3. Donate food or unused items.

Let your children help you find items around the house to donate. Clothes that don’t fit anymore, toys that haven’t been played with or canned foods. Children will even enjoy baking cookies or meals to donate or share with the local police/fire station. Donating items you already have also helps to minimize the excess of “stuff” and gives you room to drive focus on more important things like family, traditions and generosity.

4. Write a letter or thank you note.

In the days of email and text, it’s really nice to get a hand-written note. Depending on the age of your children, they can write a thank you or appreciation note to a teacher, friend or family member. If they aren’t old enough to write, allow them to join in the process by coloring or drawing a picture.

5. Start at home.

Sometimes the easiest way to teach kids generosity is by starting with acts of kindness at home. This way, children are able to see the immediate impact of their actions. Maybe it’s helping a family member with a chore, comforting a sibling, or sharing toys with a neighbor. Encourage generosity at home, talk about how being kind makes them feel and help children recognize their impact.

Download 25 Days of Christmas Kindness Calendar

The 25 Days of Christmas Kindness Calendar not only encourages random acts of kindness, but also family togetherness.