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Even before the Christmas tree goes up my children go into full-on “wanting” mode.

I understand.

I remember those exciting times as a kid… anticipating that special day of the year when you get gifts from others simply because you’re loved.

Yet I worry.

I fear that greed and entitlement will overcome my children. As their Christmas lists, grow, so does my concern that greed will overcome them.

Does this burden you too? Here are some ways to encourage generosity in your children this Christmas.

Here are some ways to encourage your children to be generous this #Christmas. #parentingtip Click To Tweet

A MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

Write 24 special activities and acts of kindness on pieces of paper. Do one activity every day leading up to Christmas.

Our meaningful Christmas countdown is a beloved tradition.

This is a fabulous alternative to an advent calendar. Teach children about the spirit of giving in the days leading up to Christmas. Print off cards for the days leading up to Christmas which have activities on them (i.e. donate food to the food bank, donate hats and mitts to the homeless, donate dog and cat food to the animal shelter, etc.)

VOLUNTEER

Investigate volunteer opportunities that your children can participate in over the Christmas season. Here are some possible volunteer activities you can do with your children:

  • sing carols at a senior’s home
  • clean kennels at an animal shelter
  • help deliver meals to seniors who are confined to their homes
  • shovel neighbours’ sidewalks

It’s always a good idea to call organizations in advance to see if help is needed. Some places have age restrictions or may be booking volunteer opportunities far in advance.

What I love about volunteerism, is it teaches children that generosity isn’t just about giving money, people can be generous with their time.

PURCHASE AND DONATE TOYS

Give your children a budget and have them select toys to donate to children in need.

COLLECT FOOD FOR THE FOOD BANK

Encourage your children to collect food from family and friends. After they’ve filled a box, they can donate it to the food bank. This article highlights how to make the most of your food bank donations.

You could even plan a reverse advent calendar! The way this works is you start with an empty basket and for every day in December leading up to Christmas, have your children add an item to the basket. Encourage them to use some of their allowance to purchase items for the basket.

As my children's Christmas lists, grow, so does my concern that greed will overcome them. Here are some ways to encourage generosity in your children.

BUY A CHICKEN, A WELL, OR A PIG…

Every year, my children and I gather around the World Vision catalog and we select a gift for a community in need. From livestock to medicines, and clean water to education, there are plenty of gifts to send to a community in need.

USE THEIR CREATIVITY FOR GOOD

Get out the construction paper and crayons! Have your children make Christmas cards for people who are in the hospital for Christmas or for seniors in a care facility.

ASK THEM

Last of all, try asking your children how they would like to be more generous this Christmas season! You might be surprised by all the wonderful ideas they come up with!

It’s never too late to encourage generosity in your children. Whether they donate time, goods, or money, there’s always some way to help those in need.



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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly

Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.




Jennifer Bly is the creator of Becoming a Deliberate Mom: A Reflective Parenting Workbook. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for parenting updates and inspiration.

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