Needless to say during the holiday season life gets hectic – from decorating your house, to Christmas cards, to deciding what to give friends and family to baking and cooking and holiday parties. It makes my head spin just thinking about the craziness. So where does teaching our children about the true spirit of the holidays come in? I have thought about that a lot this year as they are getting older and more aware that Christmas is not only about Santa Claus and presents. Throughout their childhood we have worked to help them understand, amidst the chaos, about giving to others and spending time with family and friends.
Every year we try to give our time to a program such as “Christmas Cheer” or “Toys for Tots.” This year we worked with a program to fill a backpack for someone who is homeless. Each member of our family put in some of their own money and then we all went and bought the necessary items. I was not expecting the buying of the items to create such interesting conversation with our children. They were curious why we needed to put certain things in the backpack and why we were not adding others. It was truly eye opening for them. And not only was a good experience for them in terms of giving but also in learning to appreciate their lives and how helping others is essential in our world. Giving and helping others also helps to create a sense of happiness inside. Helping our children to find happiness is the most wonderful gift of all.