Christmas brings out the best in our kids. But it's more than just the watchful eyes of Father Christmas keeping them on their best behaviour. In fact, Christmas is probably the best time of year for nurturing giving habits that help your children extend their seasonal compassion well beyond the holidays.
Here are some favourite activities to make an impact on Christmas and help your kids think beyond holiday giving.
1. The Super Secret Santa:
Make Christmas baubles from recycled materials with your kids. Cut out paper snowflakes from used gift wrap and paste it around glass bottles to make lanterns, or cut up Christmas junk mail into triangles for holiday bunting. Leave your masterpieces on the doorstep of neighbours who are alone for the holidays. Sign the cards "Father Christmas." Sometimes it's important to give without expecting a thank you.
2. The Do-As-You-Will Donation:
Set aside money for each of your kids and have them pick out a charitable cause to donate it to. The research they do will make them feel personally responsible for the impact of their gift and more aware of the good they can do.
3. The Care Package:
Get your children to look through boxes cupboards for toys, books and clothes they no longer need. When you're done, talk with your kids about the importance of remembering how much we already have when asking for gifts. Go together to donate the items to a local homeless shelter.
4. The Card With a Cause:
Use your holiday card messages to raise awareness for the causes you care about. Research hope-inspiring facts to include and ask recipients to think about the people affected by the issue.
5. The Lending Hand:
Give the kids an experience they'll remember-the feeling of making a difference. Volunteer together as a family at a food bank, residential home or neighbourhood toy collection to spread a little cheer.
However you choose to make an impact together, make sure you talk about what you're doing, why it's important and how they are feeling. "Joy to the world" may be a holiday creed, but conscientiousness and compassion are values that last year-round.
Want to find more ways to connect as a family and give back? As an international charity and educational partner with an 18-year history of working with youth all over the world, Free The Children, among its many initiatives, provides educational resources for local and global issues to help you make a difference.
From fun activities you can do at home to awareness and fundraising campaign. Visit www.freethechildren.com. An initiative of Free The Children, We Day is a series of events that inspire and empower young people to be active local and global citizens. We Day UK makes its debut on March 7 at the Wembley Arena.