By Stacey Davis
Are you gearing up for the Holiday season yet? Our lights are hung outside already, the Christmas decorations are up and I have been enjoying the sounds of Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving. And I’m not the only one who has been thinking about Christmas early this year. My kids already have been. They have been thinking about what they are getting for Christmas since around Halloween. Every commercial they see on TV evokes a round of “I want that!”
So I decided to change their ”getting” attitude into one of giving. First of all I have decreased TV viewing time that involves exposing my kids to the zillion commercials of the newest, bestest toy that starts my kids on the endless cycle of wanting. Second, my husband and I decided to launch a campaign we call “Operation Reason for the Season”.
It all began last week when I got the latest edition of Family Fun. If you don’t have a subscription to this magazine I would highly recommend it. Each month the pages are filled with ideas and crafts that I would actually attempt. The article that evoked our goal for the season was called “Reader’s favorite holiday traditions”. As I read each story I noticed there was a theme of giving. One story was about a family who had a toy-giveaway day and another told of a family who “elfed” another family each year by leaving them treats on their door anonymously during the 12 days of Christmas. But the story that caught my eye was about a family and their “good deeds” jars. In this family the kids come up with 24 simple acts of kindness that they can do for each day in December leading up to Christmas. Each day they choose a random act from the jar and once it is completed they put the “finished” slips of paper into a special box. On Christmas Eve they put the special box with all of their completed acts of kindness under the tree as a gift to Santa. We shared the story with our daughters and they seem excited about the idea so we decided to give it a try.
Teaching our children about giving and kindness is about doing, not talking. This Christmas season do something with your kids….help them give some toys to a shelter, take them shopping for a toy to give to Toys for Tots, or help them pick out some food from your own pantry to take to your local food drive. I hope that we can find something to make our own altruistic tradition this Christmas season to make sure our daughters know it is a season of giving, not getting.
1 John:17-18 If anyone has material possesions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.