It’s better to give than to receive.

All of us have heard this phrase before and as moms we have been practicing our giving since the moment we became mothers. Especially during the holiday season, moms give of their time, love, and money to make sure that everything about the holidays are perfect for the little ones in our lives. We shop, bake, decorate, and stay up late into the night wrapping gifts so we can see the excited looks on our childrens’ faces on that magical Christmas morning. We all know that it is better to give than to receive…we have lots of practice. But do our children?

This holiday season, I challenge you to give your children the gift of feeling how great it is to be a giver. In our busy, materialistic world, I want my kids to realize that it feels so much better to give to others than to receive the number one toy on their Christmas lists. There are so many great giving opportunities that we have right here in our valley and you might want to incorporate a few of these into your yearly family traditions:

● Have your child purchase a toy for a child in need and donate it to the Les Schwab Community Toy Drive that benefits over 1,000 needy kids in our area. For more information on the toy drive, click ​here​.

● Pick a tag off of a Salvation Army Angel Tree found at many local businesses around our area and purchase a toy for a child listed on the tag. Have your child be in charge of picking the perfect gift and wrapping it for the child in need.

● Purchase a bag of dog or cat food and donate it to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. While you are there dropping it off, you might even want to adopt a new addition to your family!

● Bake some Christmas cookies and treats or draw some Christmas cards/pictures and take them to someone you know who could use some extra love this season. Or you could take them to an assisted living facility and bless the residents with a fun holiday surprise.

● Have your child write some notes of thanks to their teachers and school staff. Also, notes to friends telling them what they appreciate about them would be an easy and heartfelt gift to give to someone they care about this Christmas.

● Institute a “12 Days of Christmas Kindness” plan where each day you have a special mission to spread kindness over the Christmas vacation. There are some great calendars online that offer helpful ideas of random acts of kindness to do throughout the holiday season. One fun calendar is found on the Comeback Momma blog, which you can view ​here​.

● Call your child’s school and ask if there is a family that you can help this Christmas with some toys and food for the holidays.

There are many ways your child can learn about giving during this holiday season and after you try it, I bet you will find that it is actually the very best gift that you can give them for Christmas. As moms, we work so hard to make this holiday a wonderful one for our families, so how about we use this time to teach our children something that will stay with them far longer than the holiday season itself. This important life lesson of giving will be much more meaningful to them than any toy or gift under the tree.