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The Important Gift of Giving

by Gary Hays | December 16th, 2015 | Elementary, Seasonal

give (400x400)When all through the house there arose such a clatter… As elementary schools dismiss for the holiday season, excited children prepare to spend a couple of weeks completely underfoot in anticipation of the bearded jolly fat man shimmying down the chimney with his big bag full of goodies. While the Christmas season is one which is typically filled with joy, gifts, family, and scrumptious food, let us not forget that it should also be a season of compassion and goodwill for those faced with less fortunate circumstances.

What better gift to give your child/children, than the gift of compassion toward others, and there are many ways to accomplish this.

As a family, volunteering at a local shelter to prepare and serve a meal will expose your children to the fact there are less fortunate people in the world who do not enjoy the same holiday luxuries as them. Many of these shelters house entire families, so chances are your kids will come face-to-face with children their own age, helping them realize the importance of giving thanks for what they may have perhaps been taking for granted.

There are many charitable organizations who seek donations, especially over the Christmas season when folks are more apt to give. Make a list of some of these organizations and show it to your kids. Explain to them the purpose of each one individually and let them reach the decision of which one(s) to donate to. There are many to choose from, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the Salvation Army, and once again, perhaps a local shelter. By involving them in this process, you will be creating an awareness which they will hopefully carry with them into adulthood.

Most local communities sponsor a toy drive, and if you aren’t certain where to donate, simply contact your local city office and they should be able to provide you with a drop off location. If they for some reason cannot, try contacting a local fire station, as they, in many cases, spearhead these type drives. Once you have determined the location, take your kids shopping and let them select the toys for donation. The most important thing is to let them be an integral part of the process.

Perhaps if we all took the time to teach our children the importance of giving, as opposed to just receiving, they will pass these valuable lessons on as they reach adulthood and become parents of their own. It all starts with us.

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