Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The True Meaning of Giving

What does giving mean? What does it mean to you? Giving, truly, means transferring something to someone else from your possession to theirs, but it can mean so much more! With the holidays arriving, very quickly, many children are looking forward to what they will receive as gifts. They're probably looking forward to toys, clothes, games, movies or even money! But how important are these "things" to us and to our children? What if we turned the tables and our children were even more excited about giving?
   It's so important to show kids that it's not about what we get but what we give! Of course, it is nice to receive a gift like a new piece of clothing, a new game to play or a new appliance for the house but what is even better is time, acts of service, gratitude, letting someone know that they are on your mind. Those types of gifts will last for years and years longer than any sweater, deck of cards or a toaster. 

Once I read a story about a mom telling her youngest son about Santa. He was coming to the age where she could sense his suspicion and she took action to explain the fairy tale. She sat him down at a local ice cream shop and asked him what he believed.
   Once, he finished she took into account the things he told her like, the toys he gave and the cookies he ate and said that these things are all very true but in fact, it is not just one man or even one woman. The mother told her son that Santa is a title given to everyone willing to accept it when they reach the right age and congratulations to the boy because he is the right age, should he choose to accept this service. She explained that being Santa means that you go and find people to help and give things they might need or things that may make them happy. Parents do it for kids and loved ones and when the kids are ready they can do the same. The mother asked her son if he could think of someone that would benefit from his first act as a Santa and he thought for a bit and named a lady down their street that did not have any family and was all alone. He said that he would see her walk out to get her paper every day but in bare feet; he then realized the best thing to do for her was to buy her a pair of slippers to wear outside. They left the ice cream shop and headed to buy their elderly neighbor a pair of bedroom slippers for her to wear so her feet would not get cold. How amazing is this take on Santa? 
   This is the season of giving and we should include our children in giving their time, their ideas, their ability to do things for others. What better way for kids to learn kindness than to learn it through acts of giving or service to others? 

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