Photo credit by jcoterhals
The holiday spirit is not something that is easy to explain to younger children verbally. What is much more effective with young kids is to show them through demonstrations. Acts of the holiday spirit are far more easy for kids to grasp than any words. If you are wanting to instill the holiday spirit in your child this Christmas, then consider these various acts of kindness:
The Joy of Nursing Homes at Christmas
Perhaps no other place on Earth is more important come the Holidays than your local nursing home. Many of these senior citizens are all alone during this time of year, and a simple visit can teach your kids the value of caring for someone simply for the sake of caring. Many kids never see this important societal reality until they are adults, and by then their habits are already formed. Make it an annual thing at Christmas, and your kids will understand the holiday spirit early.
Organize a Food or Toy Drive
During the Christmas season, their are a great many people that have little or nothing. Either organizing a food drive or working on a toy drive for a local orphanage can pay huge dividends for your child's sense of charity. Explain to your child the importance of looking after their fellow man and woman, and then hammer it home by setting the example. If you do not have the resources to organize a drive, then simply participate in an existing one.
Volunteer at the Local Homeless Shelter
Again, this is something that your child needs to be exposed to at an early age. Many children grow up sheltered from the realities of the world, and are not prepared when real life hits them. Volunteer jobs at homeless shelters are not only examples of holiday spirit in action, they are also statements of humanity at their best. Solidify this idea by doing it throughout the year when you are able to do so.
Take Your Child Shopping for a Needy Family
Kids are always so excited about their own Christmas presents that they rarely get to experience the excitement of giving something themselves. This can be overcome by having your child shop for a needy family with you. Just giving a family a Christmas tree can be a huge boost to their holiday, and presents under the tree are even better. Whatever you can afford to do will be appreciated and will teach your child an important holiday lesson.
Organize a Manger Scene for Your Neighborhood
Organizing a manger scene is a very fun and exciting way to learn about the holiday spirit for children. The can not only play a part in the scene, but they can also help to build the various props and so on. The key is to hammer home the real meaning of Christmas, and why we celebrate it each year. If you do not have enough participation for the neighborhood, then you can certainly do this in your own yard on a smaller scale.