Author: Sheritha Singh
In a world dominated by gifts that many cannot afford, how exactly can we teach our kids the real value of Christmas? Unfortunately, there are not many handbooks for parents addressing this, often making it a case of trial and error. Here is what I have learned in raising my (now) 15-year-old nephew.
- Money is not a prerequisite for providing Christmas gifts. My family regularly spring-cleans closets, kitchen cupboards, and the house in general. We donate clothes, fashion accessories, cutlery, crockery, and more to shelters or needy families.
- Never under estimate the power of a living gift. I have taught my nephew to plant, transplant and pot his own living gifts.
- Handmade gifts are just as valuable as store bought ones. My family has recently embarked on a craft craze, mainly for relaxation purposes. The beauty of crafts is that the gifts we make usually cost a fraction of what we would pay in store. The best benefit is that it is filled with love.
- My sister bakes cookies for road workers (i.e. those maintaining the roads on Christmas). The look of joy and surprise on their faces at her unexpected gesture is enough to remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.
While we embark on our craft crazes, spring cleaning, and random acts of kindness, my nephew watches. Teaching a child about the true meaning of Christmas (or any special occasion for that matter) should not be a one-time occurrence but rather an ongoing lesson. The daily, weekly, or monthly activities dedicated to helping those less fortunate should involve the entire family. This is how we impart our knowledge to the younger generation.
I am not claiming to be a genius but the activities mentioned above has helped us raise a kind, honest young man who is aware that he can make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate. For us, that is an investment worth making.