Teach your children that the spirit of the season lies in the giving rather than the getting this year through a few fun, easy, and satisfying charity-centered activities and projects that the whole family will enjoy! Traditions that center around generosity are a great way to instill the values of selflessness and compassion at an early age and are sure to make an impact that will last a lifetime.
- Visit an Elderly Relative — Make it a point to visit an elderly relative who may live alone each holiday season. A visit from your little ones will be sure to brighten their day, as will catching up on news from your family. Bring some baked goods for a special treat and offer to help out around the house. Aside from some light cleaning and organizing, they may appreciate you setting up a Christmas tree or putting up some holiday lights. Just be sure to come back after the holidays to take them down!
- Bake for Your Neighbors — Get the family involved in creating tins of Christmas cookies or beautiful loaves of homemade bread to distribute to your neighbors. Whether they helped with measuring ingredients or created the handmade cards that will sit atop each culinary gift, your child will simply burst with pride at their contribution! Let them knock on the doors and hand over the treats to experience the full satisfaction that giving has to offer.
- Facilitate a Book Drive — There’s no need to make this a complicated matter. Facilitating a book drive can be as simple as setting a labeled box out on your porch and spreading the word to your relatives and neighbors to drop off children’s books during the month of December to be donated to places such as underfunded schools, juvenile detention centers, and children’s hospitals.
- Volunteer at a Nursing Home — Give the gift of time or talent to your local nursing home. Playing games, reading books, or putting on a show if members of your family have special talents will all be well-received by residents who are looking for a little connection.
- Give Gifts to School Staff — Whether it’s dropping off several boxes of donuts at the front office with your child one morning, or making one very special and thoughtful gift for his classroom teacher, young children will certainly be eager to show their appreciation to their favorite school staff!
- Donate Classroom Supplies — Email your child’s teacher and/or ask for your child’s input on some school supplies their classroom could use. Arrange the supplies attractively in a box or seasonal tote bags and drop them off with your child at school one morning. They’ll be so pleased with their classroom contribution it may beget even more helpful behaviors at school!
- Adopt a Family — Call a local church, school, or charity organization and see if they have a list of families in need for the holidays. Choose a family, (one similar to yours may make the most impact,) and have your family put together Christmas dinner and a few gifts that will make their holiday a more enjoyable one.