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My kids are excited about Christmas and the presents they will get. But my husband and I want to make sure they understand that the true value of the holiday season is about family, togetherness, and a spirit of giving. . . not just a desire to receive.
Every year our family makes donations to our favorite non-profit organizations, but this year we were looking for a more tangible way to give back so that the kids could get involved too. What we decided to do was to have QBoy and XGirl participate in our local food drive.
We talked to them about the fact that we always have enough food to fill our bellies, but that there are lots of people who go hungry. Then we went to the grocery store and each kid picked out several foods that they thought others would like. QBoy picked out different cans of beans while XGirl picked out both beans and some canned raviolis.
Later that day, we headed to a nearby business that was conducting a food drive, and the kids got to put the cans they had selected into the food drive bin.
Of course, it is difficult for 3-year-olds to understand the abstract concept that the food we donated will reach the mouths of some unknown person. But we nonetheless felt it was important to involve our children in a tradition of giving from a young age.
Do you have other ideas for teaching young children the importance of giving? If so, I’d love it if you share them in the comments!