Your Child Can Be Santa
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus….he lives in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. As a parent there is no better time of year than now to teach our children the true value and meaning of what the holidays are all about. It feels as with every passing year, the commercialism of this holiday grows and the true spirit behind it diminishes. We all feel it. The pressure to give more, give bigger, give better. Keeping up with the Joneses is no longer a concept but a reality for many. Commercials, shows, advertisements, will all have you believe that your child will simply not make it another year if they do not get the hottest, latest and greatest item on the lists.
I am not advocating to not celebrate Christmas or not buy your child what they ask for. After all there is a magic that comes with seeing the joy on their faces and the light in their eyes. I do advocate, however, in teaching our children the value of giving back and giving too those who may not be as fortunate as ourselves. Below are 5 simple things that you can do today, tomorrow or anytime before Christmas, to give you kids the ultimate gifts this year. The gifts of understanding, compassion and altruism. These truly embody the Spirit of Santa and teach our children what the holidays are about.
- Every city has a local Children’s Home, a place where primarily tweens and teens who are orphans live year round. Many of them are often forgotten during the holiday season because of their age. Call your local home and ask for the names of 1 or 2 kids there who are not going to receive a gift this year. You will be amazed at how little these kids truly ask for. One year our ‘group’ asked only for socks, body spray and deodorant! Set aside $20 of your holiday money and get them so basics and maybe a little extra treat like a CD or a basket with lotions etc…. Your children and you will feel so good about brightening someone elses day.
- While out and about with your children take $3.00 and convert it into change. Tell them that their ‘mission’ today is to put all of their change into the donation baskets they will see around town. Make sure you get dimes, nickles, quarters etc…for a younger child this will seem like an awful lot of money and they will feel so good as they spread Christmas cheer throughout the day giving donations. Use this opportunity to talk to them about the kettles, collections jars and let them know what these programs do for others.
- We all have them, old DVD, vidoes and children’s books sitting around our house. Did you know that the children’s ward of the hospital is ALWAYS looking for these items to restock their libraries? Gather your kids and a box of your kid appropriate movies and books and make a trip to your local hospital. Get in the spirit and wear Santa hat’s as you play helper for the day while delivering your gifts. This is something that will be enjoyed year round and it does not cost you a penny to do!
- Have a Card making party this weekend with your child and their friends. Let them make cards not only for Christmas but for every day in general. Take a trip to a nursing home, a hospital or VA and deliver your Spirit of the Holiday messages. They can be distributed throughout the year and is a gift that costs only your time and the purchase of some crayons and paper.
- Give each child a $5.00 limit and take them to your local Walmart, Kmart etc… allow them to select one toy within their limit and purchase it themselves. Next take them to the closest Toys For Tots drop off box and allow your child to place the item in the box. They will feel so grown up and good about themselves for having given to someone else.