We all love to open presents on Christmas, at birthday parties or any other time of year. As a parent, you want your child to appreciate the gifts they receive, but also enjoy the act of gift giving too. Teaching kids to give gifts rather than receive them is hard as it may not be something that comes naturally to most of us.
Teaching your child to be a generous gift giver can take time, but practicing gift giving doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by practicing how to be thankful with your kids, which helps them to want to give back. Christmas is a great time to teach generosity to your family. Try one or more of these ideas to help your family focus on giving this season.
1. Help Someone In Need
Whether it’s by creating an online Operation Christmas Child shoebox or buying a present from one of our Giving Trees, involve your kids in the process. Talk to them about how giving gifts to others in need shows them God’s love. If your family sponsors a child through one of our partner organizations, mail them a Christmas card or consider adding additional funds for a Christmas gift if you’re able. Let your child know how your family impacted the world this year.
2. Make Homemade Stocking Stuffers
If your family hangs stockings in your home, let your kids help fill the stockings by making artwork or writing a homemade card for the other members in your family. Your kids will be excited to see you, their siblings and even their pets open their homemade presents. If arts and crafts aren’t your thing, consider having your kids pick out a stocking stuffer for each person’s stocking. Be sure to ask them questions like “What do you think your brother would like?” or “Would that make her smile when she opens it?” so they can practice choosing gifts for others.
3. Hand Out Presents
Let your kids hand out the presents they picked out for family members and watch them open it before moving onto another present. If you’re getting together with additional family members this year, let your child sit near the presents and hand them one-by-one to extended family members and say “Merry Christmas!”
4. Be Intentional with Catalogs
We all love to look through a toy catalog - even as adults - which is why kids especially love to look through page by page and make their Christmas lists. While this tradition can bring joy to your child, it can also focus them on what they don’t have, rather than being thankful for the toys they already own. This year, be intentional with your child and look through the catalogs together. Consider asking them to help them pick out a toy for a friend, neighbor or sibling while you’re browsing. If you see something in the catalog that is similar to a toy you already have, talk to your child about how much fun they’ve had playing with it!
5. Show Love to Others
Making a handmade gift, such as an ornament or a card, can fill your child with a sense of joy in giving to others. Help your child make a small gift for delivery people, teachers or even kidVenture Island Leaders!
By helping your kids practice gift giving this Christmas, they will begin to understand how to live generously and how to show love to others. If your family tries one of these ideas, let us know on social media! Tag kidVenture Island on Facebook or Instagram so we can celebrate your child living generously!