A guest post by JessieLeigh from Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles
I love Christmas! I love the decorations, the music, the wrapping, the anticipation…I love it.
What I don’t love? Clutter.
So I love giving consumable gifts. It’s fun for children to have things to unwrap and it’s nice for me to know that once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Another way I like to cut back on clutter and help my children learn a little about giving is through gifts of charitable donations.
But how can we make this, well, more fun for our kids? How can we hold on to the joy and elation of surprise on Christmas morning while making the real gift something for others?
Here are a few tricks that help keep it exciting even for toddlers and preschoolers:
- Double up. Rather than purchasing a new, trendy game, pick up two copies of an old classic. Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-o, etc. often go on sale for $5 each during the holidays. Wrap them both together for your child to open and he gets to keep one, the other gets donated to a child in need.
- Give a small toy that represents the charity. Want to give to an animal shelter? Wrap up a little stuffed dog or cat. Is this the year you donate to the March of Dimes? Give your child a small baby doll. Let your little one know that while she takes care of her new treasure, your donation will help take care of even more in need.
- Give them a gift card. Children have amazingly giving spirits. They also love to get to choose things and to be “in charge”. Consider giving your child a ten or twenty dollar gift card to a local supermarket and letting them choose canned goods for a local food pantry. The adventure of getting to shop is as good as a new toy for many little ones!
Those are my three favorite ways to keep Christmas clutter-free and encourage a giving heart all while making sure there’s something to open under the tree.
Do you have any tricks for making charitable giving fun for children? Share it in the comments!
JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles. She shares about raising such a precious, tiny baby over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles.
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photo by Fearless