Christmas time is a very joyful time for many people but there are people that feel the loneliest during this time especially the elderly and homeless. There are also people in the world being displaced, and living in fear everyday because of wars, injustice, persecution. While charity work is all year round, it is a good practice to use the opportunity of Christmas to teach kids about giving.
Growing up, my mum was always involved with charities. She would say "charity wipes away a multitude of sin", I never understood that until recently. When you are focused on giving with grace and doing good, there is no room for evil to lurk in your mind. Good and evil cannot live in the same place at the same time. I grew up going to St Vincent de Paul society meetings with my mum who is dedicated to helping the poor. I learnt to be charitable mostly by seeing her charity. Today it is easy for our children to be so shielded from the suffering of others that they become oblivious to the realities around them so I am making a conscious effort to teach my 6 year old about doing good and giving. And how do I do this? Here are some ways:
1. We went through his old toys for donation to our local hospital. I didn't just want him to give away toys he doesn't care for, I nudged him to give toys he struggled to let go of, with encouraging words like " can you imagine how happy that will make another child? " or "you are going to make another child's Christmas so joyful". Giving is about sacrifice, not only when it is convenient and it is a valuable lesson for kids.
2. I gave him the honour of giving our neighbours their Christmas cards and chocolates. Of course to reinforce the message of giving and not just receiving during the Holiday. I also reminded him of the joy he would bring to our neighbours by giving them chocolate, of which he replied "but they are on a diet"😂😂😂. But the message was there and loud and clear.
3. We are currently in the planning stages of gifts he is going to make for family members, since he gat no job (Fada lawd please bless him with a job in 2018😂). I have bought supplies for hand made cards papier mache jewellery boxes, candy necklaces, decorated picture frames and decorated vases. He will work just like the elves are working very hard to bring him his pressies. It's all in the spirit of giving.
4. We always pray for children around the world who have less than we do. So he will write a letter to them and make a card wishing them a Merry Christmas which I will put some money in and send it off on his behalf.
5. Lastly, as part of his schools charitable deeds, each pupil packs a shoe box with little toys, sanitary goods, cosmetics and stationery. I involve him in the preparations and make up two shoe boxes rather than the required one. He helps with picking and the wrapping of the goods.
These are just the little things that pass on my passion for good and helping others at this festive time. I hope this helps for people who just don't know where to start teaching kids about giving.
Suggestions on giving this Christmas
Shoe box appeal is still going, it is never too late. See below the Samaritan's site and put in your post code to find your nearest drop off point.
I usually go to the pound shop and stock a box with
3. Colouring pens
4. Pack of pencils
5. Small book
6. Deodorant spray
7. Small toy
8. Small toy
9. Small toy
10. Small toy
All cost £10. I do a boy themed and girl themed box and wrap it nicely in a Christmas themed wrapping paper.
CRISIS and CENTRE POINT
These are very close to my heart. They are both homeless charities who take homeless people off the streets for the holidays (9 days), they provide them with meals, Christmas Turkey, sanitation and a health check all for £26 per person. Follow CRISIS link here
or Center point for homeless young people here
Giving blood is always a good idea. The question I always pose to people when they are hesitant is "If you or your child needed blood, would you be grateful to get what you need?". If yes then give blood there is really no question. Click link
for your nearest center.
Spread the love and be kind this season and always.
Until next time buttercups