Christmas trees and carols can be seen and heard everywhere, and in case you still missed it, yes, it’s Christmas season once again. Along with those sparkly decors in every nook and cranny in every mall, children’s eyes everywhere are lighting up with much anticipation for the gifts they are bound to receive from their lolos and lolas, titos and titas, and ninongs and ninangs.
Although there is nothing wrong with indulging our kids and showering them with presents this Christmas (especially if you can afford to do so), maybe we can also take this season as an opportunity to instill a more important Christmas value to them – the essence of giving. Here are a few ways you can teach your child to be charitable – which we think is good for everyone, for the world and our kids.
1. Start a “giving bank.” A giving bank is basically a piggy bank that the whole family can add to, and the proceeds of which would be given to a certain charity. You can start one this Christmas – you can explain its concept to your kiddo, introduce and choose a charity they would like to send the money to, and deliberate on how much of their Christmas money would they be willing to add to the giving bank. Contributing to the bank yourself is also a great way to model the act of giving to your child, adding on to their willingness to do the same.
2. Do a Christmas version of spring-cleaning. You can opt to do your spring-cleaning this Christmas by having your child pick out their old toys they would be willing to give away. Doing so will teach your kids to share their blessings, and at the same time help you de-clutter in time for the new gifts they are bound to receive this season. At the same time, looking for organizations that will accept your toy donations is not a problem as a lot of local establishments offer similar toy drives this season (such as Jollibee).
3. Support charities by opting to buy gifts from them. A lot of charities these days sell different products that help offset their operating costs or support their members – such as greeting cards, small wooden toys, or leather products. You can opt to buy some of your presents from them and involve your child in choosing which products to buy, while at the same time introducing the said charity to your child. You can tell them how that charity works and who they help out. Exposing our kids to such institutions would better instill in them the concept of charity and helping out.
4. Participate in outreach activities in your community. We all know that the Christmas season is the busiest time of the year, but do try to take time to participate in different charity drives in your community – especially ones wherein you can also involve your child. From food to toy drives organized by either your child’s school or Church, include such activities in your holiday schedule, as exposing your child in these can enhance his sense of community and of being a man for others.
Though we cannot limit our child’s gifts this coming season from our family and friends, we can instill in them that the magic of the season does not just come from tearing through an entire pile of presents. We can teach them one of the real lessons of the season no matter how cliché it may sound – that it is way better to give than to receive. So happy teaching and giving this Christmas season!