I am a freelance writer with varied interests including personal development, pets, saving money and disability issues.
The Christmas season can be very commercial with lots of emphasis on expensive food, drinks, gatherings and of course, presents. It can be all about who has the biggest and best of everything. Perhaps you would like your children to think of others rather than only about what they can get.
Here are a few ways to foster the true spirit of Christmas in your child -
Give away some toys Before Christmas Day encourage your child to sort through his/her toys, books and games and donate some to a charity. Ensure items donated are in good condition and there are no missing pieces. Giving away broken or dirty items isn’t helping any one. If plastic toys are just a bit grimy your child could wash and dry them to make the items suitable for donating.
Some communities have a ‘drive’ to collect second hand toys for children who are in need. Otherwise drop the toys off at a local charity. The toys may be given directly to children or sold in an op shop and the money used to help others.
There are numerous charities that accept used toys. Image:Marie Vonow
Donate food items with your children and explain why you are doing it Some stores collect non perishable food items for food hampers to give to families in need. Talk to your children about this and get them to help you choose some items to donate. Let them put them in the box at the store.
Donate some non perishable food items. Image:Marie Vonow
Donate to a charity Numerous organisations including The Smith family, The Salvation Army and Mission Australia are collecting for families who need help at Christmas. Some businesses have arrangements for donating online or in the store. Your child might like to help buy a new toy to donate.
KMart is one of the stores collecting money and gifts. Image:Marie Vonow
Make gifts, cards and decorations Encourage your children to make things to give to other people. Sometimes this means extra work for Mum who is already stressed so keep it simple. Older children may be able to supervise and help younger ones. This type of activity is something they will remember and talk about when they are grown up.
Reuse and recycle Wrapping paper, cards and decorations can be bought cheaply so it may not seem worth reusing paper or cutting up last year's cards to make ones to give this year. However, from an environmental point of view, it is good to encourage children to do so and it encourages creativity. Paper chains and lanterns can be made from old cards and wrapping paper. Reusing also helps children get away from the attitude that everything has to be new and bought from a shop.
The internet is a good resource for locating local charities that are collecting various items or money. If you are looking for ideas of things children can make, again the internet is full of information.