Throughout the year both my husband and I give of of our time and talents by volunteering with various organizations. We also give monetarily. But, up to this point, we really haven't discussed in detail with our children what it means to give - to share the joy. This year we involved them directly in the giving this holiday season.
As a family, we decided to use our gift card and share the joy locally by giving to a charity and sharing the joy with an individual. I obtained a wish list of items from our local violence safe program that helps provide assistance to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. My family went on a shopping trip together and bought several items off the wish list including diapers, toothbrushes and soap. My daughter spent quite a bit of time picking out a nice hairbrush. It was a wonderful bonding experience and a great way to help the kids think of others instead of themselves. The other half of the money we decided to share with a neighbor who recently lost her husband to cancer. Holidays can be so hard for those that have experienced the death of someone close, and we wanted to let her know that we are still thinking of her. We hope she enjoys "Sharing the Joy" in some way in memory of her husband. We made an angel card to accompany the gift card using this Candy Cane Angel Template.
Lands' End has a tradition of also giving a few of their employees the chance to Share the Joy. You can read about it on the Lands' End Facebook Page.
Thanks so much to Lands' End for this opportunity. I grew up near Lands' End headquarters in Wisconsin and can personally attest as to how much the company does for their community. They have a long legacy of giving. I also full-heartedly recommend their products because I know they strive for quality and everything comes with a full guarantee.
As far as reading about giving, this Christmas we found a Zonderkidz book titled, The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving. This particular book has a Christian message and talks about the birth of Jesus and the gifts given by the Wise Men. The cubs learn that it is "more blessed to give than to receive." The book includes a discussion page in the back and suggests ways kids can involve themselves in giving.
What are your favorite children's books on the topic of giving and gifts? Do you have a favorite charity or volunteer during the holidays? How do involve your children?