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Teaching Kids the Spirit of the Holiday


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#1 twinmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 6:13 am

I am looking for some ideas on how to teach my 8 year olds to be more compassionate and to understand that they are very fortunate in that they always have great Christmas memories. They ususally get most of what they ask for between Santa, us, grandparents, aunts, etc. I feel like I tell them over and over how lucky they are and there are many families that do not have what we have and it does not seem to sink in. For example, my son is complaining that his winter coat is "too puffy" and only wants to wear a hoodie on a 29 degree morning. I said he is lucky to have not one but 2 winter coats as some kids go cold. I get things like this all the time and I understand that they are only 8 but it drives me crazy. I need some ideas on how to make this really hit home. We don't belong to a church and I don't want to just get a toy and drop it in a toys for tots bin because I don't think that would make any impact. Should I take them to a soup kitchen for an afternoon? What can I do that would really help them to understand how tough some people have it?

#2 Elmck  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 6:33 am

Some suggestions Let them earn some money(special chores for you or grandparents), go to an angel tree and let them choose someone (The angel trees in our area only ask for clothes and shoes), or call social services to see if there are any families left. Let the boys choose what to buy with their money. Serving dinner in a homeless shelter is a good idea too. Take them to the hospital to pass out cards, or gifts for those who will have to spend Christmas in the hospital Nursing homes also appreciate visits, you can call some in your area to see what the needs may be.

#3 dealluvr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 7:30 am

a long time ago when my boys were probaby 13 and 9 somewhere like that we as a family then,at thanksgiving i think it was the saturday after thanksgiving. we had an extra turkey so i roasted that after thanksgiving and made some extras just stove top and corn and i went to the dollar store or some dollar store that had foil pans with cardboard lids. i made about 25 dinners put them in tins and put them in a cooler so they stayed warm.i had a lot of extra take out plastic drink cups and took an urn of coffee along with powdered creamer and sugar packets. we handed out dinners to homeless people we saw in philly. the kids are grown now and still remember that as they are frugal in their own little way now. they were still young enough the next christmas to know if we didnt have too much that the gifts were according to what money we had
i love my boys

#4 twinmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 9:06 am

I do love the angel tree idea, as well as toys for tots so maybe we will do that anyway. At Easter, we stopped by a nursing home to visit a friend of my grandmother's so maybe we will make that a tradition at both holidays. But I really love dealluvr's idea!!!! I got my free turkey from Shoprite and cooked it on Friday after Thanksgiving since we never get any leftovers. I ended throwing half of it away since we just couldn't finish it and was so disgusted by doing that. I think I will plan something like this for the week between Christmas & New Years since my husband is off too. And we will go to Philly too since I live in South Jersey. I really think that will make an impact and then maybe after seeing people freezing on the street my son won't complain about his "puffy" coat.

#5 AndreaInNC  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 1:26 pm

If it's not too late - you can always call your local Child & Family services and see about adopting a foster child for Christmas. We did that one year and we actually took the gifts to the home and met the foster parents. Our gifts were the only gifts that girl got that year. The state doesn't normally give money to foster families to cover the cost of Christmas gifts. It made a HUGE impression on my daughter who was 6 at the time. We got a girl who was the same age as she was. I think just making them aware that there are kids who are less fortunate makes an impact as well. Our local new station is doing a coat drive this weekend. We will clean out our closets and drop the coats off on Saturday.

#6 dealluvr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 1:42 pm

I do love the angel tree idea, as well as toys for tots so maybe we will do that anyway. At Easter, we stopped by a nursing home to visit a friend of my grandmother's so maybe we will make that a tradition at both holidays.

But I really love dealluvr's idea!!!! I got my free turkey from Shoprite and cooked it on Friday after Thanksgiving since we never get any leftovers. I ended throwing half of it away since we just couldn't finish it and was so disgusted by doing that. I think I will plan something like this for the week between Christmas & New Years since my husband is off too. And we will go to Philly too since I live in South Jersey. I really think that will make an impact and then maybe after seeing people freezing on the street my son won't complain about his "puffy" coat.


no way!!! (living in s jersey)

Edited by dealluvr, Dec 7, 2010 - 1:42 pm.
add

i love my boys

#7 canfleece  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 1:47 pm

We adopt an anonymous family (with our neighbor instead of exchanging gifts) through our school system (our secretary and school nurse handle it) and I think it teaches my kids that local families right in their school do not have near the things they have like boots, gloves, hats, clothes as well as a couple smaller toy wishes, not sure my kids totally get it, but I love doing it as mine have more than they need and are getting older now... With all the bargains we find (THANKS to this site and of Target and others), it is fun to share some and allows me to do a little more.... Also went to Walgreens and Rite Aid and picked up many pretty much free items which we are donating to a Domestic Violence Shelter, I was surprised over a short time how much we have to give!

#8 maryfyeager  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 2:19 pm

My daughter is only 17 months and I have been thinking about this as well. I wanted to try and find ways in our community to give back. This year we were at the Disney Store, and I told her that we were going to buy toys for other children who needed them. At 17 months she picked up two dolls, (I let her pick them out) and she "paid" for them (handed the clerk my credit card) and took them over to the toys for tots box and dropped them in and then said, I U (her way of saying I love you). It made me cry. I think it is so important to teach our children to give back. I have no idea if she really got anything out of it, but I'll always have this memory. Just wanted to share.

#9 tokanm  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2010 - 3:36 pm

I used to get my boys to give up one of their new Christmas gifts to the local shelter, they also were asked to give up some older toys they no longer played with so other kids could enjoy them. Here now in order to graduate from HS you need to volunteer doing a community service. It involves picking a place, getting interviewd and then working 60 hours over your junior senior year. It has to be a legit charity or organization...not helping your friends play video games, lol.

#10 twinmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2010 - 6:30 am

dealluvr - I am in Williamstown. Maryfyeager - love the story - so cute!! I have heard of a Domestic Violence Shelter nearby - I'll have to look into it to donate some necessities. I know they won't disclose location, you have to meet the director in a parking lot or something. These are great ideas guys! We told the kids last night that we wanted them to choose one of their Christmas presents to give to a child less fortunate. We'll see how that goes over.

#11 Mikesgirl  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2010 - 7:12 am

DD10 gets a child off the Angel Tree every year.. It really hit home with her when she saw what a 6yr old little girl was asking for.. A winter coat, slippers and socks(not one toy).. Now she asks every year if we can do it again so we get the angel and the Saturday after BF we take her to Target and WM to pick stuff so she gets the most out of the budget we set for her...

#12 dealluvr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2010 - 7:18 am

woodbury
i love my boys

#13 Kibit13  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2010 - 10:15 am

These are all such great ideas. :yup:

#14 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2010 - 10:36 am

while your goal is noble, remember, too, that being self centered at 8 is normal. It takes a while to become more sensative to the needs of others. Your making an effort to teach them will help them along this path. Charitable goals mean the most if they are something the kids can relate to.... so my kids understood early on, that everyone needs to be warm, and have something to eat..... Even if *you* don't belong to a church, they could still particiapte it charitable events sponsered by local churches....
Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

Knowledge does not dissolve integrity - Conj

#15 twinmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 9, 2010 - 6:16 am

dealluvr - small world!!!

#16 canfleece  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 9, 2010 - 8:47 am

No they don't disclose the location of the domestic shelter, a local store here has a drop off for them. They seem so grateful for the simple things that we take for granted like toothpaste, feminine products, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, etc.... I am so amazed at how many people do take the time and make the effort to help out in so many different ways!

Edited by canfleece, Dec 9, 2010 - 8:48 am.
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#17 AndreaInNC  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 9, 2010 - 9:11 am

I am alwasy saving my travel size toiletries that I get when I travel. I even keep the free stuff I get at both CVS and Walgreens. Every few months I go by our local thrift store (it is sponsored by our area churches) and they are always so grateful when I drop off items for them to give away to those in need.




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