4 Ideas to Get Your Kids to Give Back

So every year on Christmas, precisely two things happen:

  1. I swear that our kids are getting absolutely nothing crazy. “They have too much!” I declare in frustration. “They have so many toys they don't even play with!” I lament. “That's it! All they are getting is socks!” I swear to anyone who will listen. 

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  2. I forget that I bought them presents online and buy more and more until I'm left drowning under a pile of presents and wondering where on earth it all went wrong. 

Basically, every year my kids get too much stuff, it's entirely my fault, and then I spend the rest of the year beating myself up that my kids are growing up to be spoiled rotten brats. So this year, I really tried hard to make an effort to start teaching my kids how to give back. I asked around and a lot of people helped me come up with some great ideas to start cultivating that spirit of giving back in my kiddos. 

Here are a few ideas to help you kids give back this holiday season, or to file away for next year:

The Giving Manger

Someone suggested this product to me and I think it's a wonderful idea for those who celebrate Christmas. For each good deed or act of service that your child completes, you add a piece of straw to the manger for Baby Jesus. So hopefully on Christmas Day, he has a nice, comfy spot to rest his head! The Giving Manger is all sold out for this season, but you can pre-order your kit for next year. 

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Hand out hot cocoa

So this is a really simple, really sweet way to give back that I'm actually excited to do. Buying toys for my kids to give someone else just doesn't always seem to cut it (although we still do sponsor a family every year, it's still important and not about my kids), but this act seems like it will be very manageable for me to pull off, even with small kids and one that will make a visible impact on them. The plan is simply to buy some small hot cocoas and pass them out around the town on a particularly cold night — it could be to bell ringers or at a shelter, but either way, it will show my kids how to give back in a small, but meaningful way. 

Pack a shoebox

Our kids' school does this and it's such a nice way for the kids to get involved giving back because you don't have to go into some super lengthy explanation with your kid who still believes in Santa about why you are buying presents instead of Santa. (Ugh, my brain hurts). It's a small way to make a big impact and if your school doesn't offer if you, can ship a shoebox full of goodies here

Start at home

I think sometimes, as moms, we think we have to make this huge, giant gesture to make a difference in our kids' lives, but you know what? Sometimes the best lessons happen at home. There are definitely ways your kids can “give back” to one another and letting a sibling have the remote or doing an extra chore or helping out Grandma may be the best way to give back, right at home. 

Happy holidays and happy giving!

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4 Ideas to Get Your Kids to Give Back

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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