We all enjoy receiving gifts on Christmas day and that is absolutely okay. But one of the best gifts of Christmas is to help others experience a sense of joy, as well. Here are four ways that you and your kids can help bring joy into the lives of others during this Christmas season.
I am very intentional about teaching my kids the importance of giving and not just receiving. Of course, receiving is fun but there is just as much joy in helping others experience a good holiday season too. This is particularly heartwarming when the people that you choose to help wouldn’t otherwise have a nice Christmas. So here are a few things that my family has done that you might want to try with your kids:
Make gifts to share.
Everyone likes to receive gifts, but not everyone actually does during the Christmas season. Encourage your children to brainstorm how they can make gifts to share with others. The gifts can be anything – from baking cookies and wrapping them inside a small tin can for delivery (the tin containers can be purchased for less than a dollar) to coloring some pages out of a coloring book and placing them in an inexpensive frame to create artwork for someone to hang in their homes. The gifts don’t have to be expensive, but I sure bet they’ll make someone’s day.
Try Christmas caroling.
This isn’t done as much anymore but it’s still a really fun activity that can brighten the spirits of many other people. You can go door to door to sing the songs or you can go to specific places such as a hospice, hospital, orphanage or group home, etc. You will probably have to get permission in advance to go into some places but it sure is worth it. Make sure that you bring some candy to disperse after singing to really make them smile.
Host a Christmas party.
And no, I don’t mean at home. Similar to the prior suggestion, try coordinating with a local hospital, school, or charity and host a Christmas party for participants. Allow your kids to help with selecting the menu items and let them help prepare the food and decorate the space. This might be a bit more costly than some of the other suggestions, so be sure to put it in the budget. If this isn’t something that you can really do this year, then try baking a bunch of cookies with the kids and take them instead. Then you can actually start a Christmas Party Fund that you can contribute to throughout the upcoming year so that you actually can host the party next year.
Invite someone over to dinner.
Not everyone has somewhere to go on Christmas day or Christmas Eve and selecting another family to come over for dinner could really brighten up their day. Your family could even leave one or two gifts unopened until after dinner and also have gifts for each member of the guest family. This is something that could really be the bright spot of the entire season for the family that you invite over. Be sure to solicit the assistance of your kids by allowing them to help cook the dinner and shop for the gifts for the guest family.
Helping others experience joy during the holiday season will also help you and your kids to fully enjoy the season too.