Give your kids the gift of giving this festive season

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The festive season is an exciting time for many – it’s filled with decorations, concerts, parties, and of course, the presents they receive from others. Unfortunately, not all children are that lucky, which gives you the perfect opportunity to teach your child to give back.

Here are five ideas for children to give back this festive season:

  • Have them donate gifts they receive to another child who would appreciate it more, such as the orphans.
  • Spot the everyday opportunities. Giving back doesn’t only need to be limited to this time of year. Teach your children to think of others in ordinary times too: if you’re grocery shopping with your kids, you could buy extra toiletries or non-perishable items that you could then donate.
  • Teach them that it’s not about spending. Giving a Christmas gift to someone else doesn’t always need to be a huge expense: in fact, a handmade gift can be far more meaningful to loved ones than buying something off the shelf.
  • Get them involved with charities. Working with charities or community initiatives isn’t just for adults – there are plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved too. The hugely popular Santa’s Shoebox initiative collects gifts in decorated shoeboxes to give to underprivileged kids around South Africa. Your children can help you shop for the items, and then pack and decorate the box themselves with wrapping paper, paint and stickers.
  • It’s not just about material goods. Giving a gift doesn’t necessarily need to involve money or material things – quality time can be an incredible gift to people who are lonely over the festive season. For example, if your children are visiting their grandparents in an old age home over Christmas or Hanukkah, you could encourage them to spend time with others in the home who may not have family in their lives.

The festive season is a wonderfully exciting time for your children – but it’s also a great opportunity to teach them to think beyond themselves and their own needs. Instilling compassion in your kids when they are young will go a long way to raising kind, thoughtful adults, in a world that so desperately needs them.

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