During this season of shopping, wrapping and opening gifts, it is worthwhile to take some time to remind children that giving of themselves is the most important. Try these ideas to make your holiday season more meaningful for your family:

1. Family Trip to Food Pantry

Find out where the local food pantry is located in your area. Give them a call to sign up your family to volunteer for a few hours. Prioritizing the time during this busy month helps children see that helping others is important and doing it all together is fun. You can even call your neighbors and ask them to come along.

2. Buy a Gift for a Child

Many local organizations collect gifts for children in low income areas to help brighten their holiday. Talk to your child about these situations. Discuss what might make another child happy and then go out together to purchase it. Your child can even make them a card to go with it.

3. Visit the Elderly

The holidays can be a very lonely time for people without family. Sit down as a family with some construction paper and make holiday cards to take to residents of a nursing home or elderly neighbors. Giving of your time can really brighten up this holiday for these people.

4. Extra

Many people have toys they don’t use and quality clothes that they don’t wear. Take time as a family to go through your dressers and closets and set aside these items for people who need them.

5. Knitting/Crocheting

In many parts of the country, winter brings chilly weather. Teach your older children and their friends how to crochet a scarf. Because it is just a long rectangle, it is not very difficult and would provide someone with warmth.

6. What would the Recipient Like?

Children often buy others gifts that they themselves would like or decide without much thought that they have found the perfect gift. Helping children focus on the recipient is an important part of gift giving. Help them make a list of the people they need/want to buy gifts for. Then ask them to think about each person and what s/he likes or needs. Then, come up with an idea of a gift that would make that person happy.

Happy Holidays!

Author's Bio: 

Sherrie Hardy has over 35 years of experience in education as a credentialed classroom teacher, school director, and perceptual-motor specialist. She is the author of Beyond Labels-Helping Your Child Succeed In School, founder of Hardy Brain Training, and developer of Successful Student Now on-line video series that teaches parents how to discover and correct the problems that inhibit their children’s success. She has helped hundreds of children and families figure out the root of the problem and help students stabilize their foundation for learning. http://SuccessfulStudentNow.com