As we head into the holiday season I wanted to take a moment to share with you a project we’re doing with our kids this year. My husband and I want very much for our children to value the gift of giving. In today’s society it seems so easy to want for more. It also feels that people are willing to take far more than they are willing to give. We desire more than that for our kids, so this year we decided to replace our traditional advent calendar with a “Giving Jar” to help countdown the days until Christmas. The idea came to me as my oldest son and I were talking about ways in which we can help others. He mentioned a few tasks that I knew we could accomplish, so I rounded out the list to make 25 “giving tasks”. The tasks include things like holding the door open for someone, writing a thank you letter to a soldier, and delivering food to the local food shelf. I typed the tasks on white paper and tied them with a ribbon and placed them in our jar. Each morning the kids will select one scroll and they have until the end of the day to complete the task. Once completed, we will chat about the task and they can each select a piece of candy from the jars.
In order to ensure we could complete each task I did some homework ahead of time. I started by calling local organizations that I thought could use donations to get specific requests. We also wanted to ensure the kids could be directly involved in most of the tasks rather than just dropping off or sending donations.
This month is going to be filled with some amazing opportunities for my family. Our hope is that our children learn that giving back is a bigger gift than anything that would ever fit under a tree.