November 16, 2016

Letters to Santa: Avoiding Greed and Encouraging Kindness

I love this time of year.  It's full of excitement, traditions, people wanting to help each other and endless fun.

One of the popular traditions of writing a letter to Santa is so exciting for kids!  As a parent, I love it too, but part of me feels like I am encouraging them to be greedy when they ask for 20 toys.  There are ways you can encourage them to be more thoughtful and less greedy when writing their letters, and ultimately throughout the holiday season.

encouraging kindness christmas

Here are some ideas:

-Point out kindness
As you go about each day, point out different acts of kindness that you see around you.  It could be something kind your child does, something someone has done for us, something a charachter did in a book or something you witnessed.

-Do an intentional Christmas act of kindness
There are many ways you can do this!  You can participate in a Sub for Santa, do a reverse advent calendar in your home, decorate for the Ronald McDonald House, make Christmas cards for someone who lives alone, or any other idea that will make someone's day this holiday season.

-Talk to your kids about the world around them
There are so many things going on in our world, good and bad.  You don't have to be a downer about the realities of the world, but it's good for them to be aware of people in different circumstances.

(ps, don't know what to say when bad things happen?  Check out this project from Pennies of Time!)

-Limit their list
You can decide how firm you want to be on this, but encourage them to pick only about 3 gifts they really want.  That way, they don't expect a room full of toys on Christmas morning.

-Encourage them to ask Santa for something for someone else
When they are writing their letter to Santa, encourage them to ask Santa for something for someone else.  It can be asking for a toy for a less fortunate friend, or something that they can give away.  You can also encourage them to pray for others, especially if you want to focus more on the religious side of Christmas than the Santa side of Christmas.

-Encourage them to write a 'Thankful List' first
A sweet young lady from my neighborhood came up with this idea.  She told her mom she wanted to write her letter to Santa, but first she wanted to write a list of things she was grateful for.  [heart melted!]

Have you found any other ideas that have worked well for your family?  Tell me about it below!

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