It started with a conversation with my boys about giving away some of their toys to kids who don’t have as much. The two eldest had very different options, the oldest who has a very kind heart was more than happy and started to think of people who he could give toys to, the middle was in tears at the thought of giving away anything. He is a bit of a hoarder. It got me thinking though of how to teach and experience the gift of giving this season with the kids.
In past years we have participated in Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse (http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/1258#.VmXGVuMrJE4), where you pick a age and gender and then fill a shoe box with as much goodies as you possibly can from the list. The boys liked packing the box but I don’t think they really understood what happened next.
This year we have decided to support more local. We become apart of the Guelph Secret Santa (http://www.secretsantaguelph.com/), which raises money to support the snack program at Brant Ave school, just down the street from us. I explained to the boys how some people don’t get to eat even when they are hungry. The boys were upset and surprised that kids their age might not have the chance to eat breakfast.
My middle son Mason’s class at school has decided to adopt a family and we were given the chance to buy some items from the list. I asked the boys how they would feel if at Christmas they did not receive anything and they were very sad. Mason loved buying items for this little girl that we did not know. He picked her some pj’s and art supplies. It was great to see the transformation from the earlier conversation.
A friend of mine gave me the great of idea of going through some of our used items to donate to the Syrian refugees that will be arriving in Guelph. Trying to explain to the boys refugees was a little difficult, but they understood a little more in the end.
At our holiday party this Friday we are accepting monitary donations to become an angel for the YMCA’s TAPPS program which supports teenage parents in the community. (http://www.guelphy.org/y-in-the-community/teen-age-parent-program-tapps/)
Our friends at Dino and Kidz have found some great ways to give back as well. The Brampton location is taking a trip to the hospital and giving away toys to the children who have to spend time in the hospital over the holidays. They have bought and wrapped the presents and will be sharing stories as well.
They had a wonderful experience sharing the Christmas spirit!
They are also collecting food and toy donations that they will be delivering to the Salvation Army. Here are some other ways they are donating. (http://dinoandkidz.com/5-ways-your-child-can-give-back-this-holiday-season/)
I just want my boys to learn there is so much more to Christmas and to really think of it as a time that people come together and share and help each other.
How do you like to give this season? Post on our Facebook some great ideas.