Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Teaching Children to Give During the Holidays

Children love to give, naturally!  Honestly, I am constantly amazed at children's ability to give.  Sometimes though, especially during the holidays, they need a little reminder to look beyond themselves and share with the bigger community that they are a part of.

That is why I absolutely fell in love with {affiliate link} Christmas from Heaven by Tom Brokaw.  It is the true story of the "candy bomber," a United States airman who dropped handkerchief parachutes full of candy and gum to children during Christmas in a war-torn Berlin in 1948.  It captures the idea of someone giving up a treat for themselves to serve others who need the treat even more.  My children were captivated by the story-telling and the pictures.  

Amazon affiliate link:

There were a few pages that I summarized for my younger preschoolers with shorter attention spans, but when we finished the book everyone was pleased with Hal's decision.  And (the best part), they were all excited at the idea that they could also do something this year to bless other children who have less than they do.

Before I read the story, I brainstormed easy ways that my children could give to someone in our community.  To introduce the idea of giving to someone outside of their family (someone they do not even know, but who is a part of our community), I sketched a simple representation of each of the ideas I thought of earlier.  Then I presented the ideas to my kids and let them choose what they wanted to do.  Everyone's community is a little different, but I thought I would share my ideas with you because they can be adapted to almost any community.

Ideas for Holiday Giving & Service

1- Donate food and/or toys to our local food bank.

2- Choose a specific child to buy for from the Angel Tree at the mall.

3- Take some of their money to a bell ringer at Wal-Mart.

4- Make cards for kids at the hospital.

5- Make a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

6- Make something for the fire-fighters at our fire station.

7- Donate some of their money to one of our church's charities.

8- Take a box of their favorite cereal (and some other goodies!) to a local refuge shelter.

9- Buy a pre-bagged "dinner" at our grocery store.

I truly believe that as children give they discover real holiday magic and make memories that are far more lasting than gifts received!

What kind of giving plans are you and your children making?  I'd love to know!

Story Book Advent

This post is part of the Story Book Advent series organized by Cerys of Rainy Day Mum!

I may share at any of these parties!

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Gail @ said...

This is a great list--practical and do-able. And this is a wonderful aspect of the holidays to teach our children. Thank you for these reminders.

Emma @ Our Whimsical Days said...

This is the first year my daughter, 5, actually wanted to pick out an ornament from the Giving Tree and help another child. I was so excited!