The holiday season is upon us. What does that mean to your kids? Is it time for them to gather with family? Celebrate their faith? Give to those less fortunate?
Or, is it time to sit down with a stack of catalogs and create a multi-page, color-coded and tabbed index of everything in the world they want from Santa?
If it’s the latter, don’t feel bad. Many of us think our families could do better in the “spirit of the season” department. It seems that as soon as Halloween ends, an onslaught of toy commercials hypnotizes our kids and turns them into “gimme monsters.” It’s not cute, and it’s not what we want for our families. But do not fear: There are many ways to put a giving spirit back in kids’ hearts during holiday time.
Reasons to Give
Why might families want to increase their focus on giving during the holiday season? Perhaps your faith calls you to be generous. Or, maybe you’re just tired of your kids asking for things when they clearly have enough toys, electronics and sports equipment to fill a warehouse. These reasons are motivation enough, but here are a few more:
The need is so great. In case you missed it, this has been a rough year around the world. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Sudan have upped the demand for humanitarian aid significantly. As a result, global humanitarian organizations are stretched to their limits. Yet, a poll of 2,000 Americans conducted by World Vision shows that most (80%) have no plans to increase their holiday charitable giving this year. I’m not sure why that is—lack of awareness, inability to afford giving, or simply thinking someone else will do it—but we can do better, folks.
Giving makes you happier. It’s a scientific fact! This study shows that giving actually increases happiness in kids. Why not capitalize on kids’ natural altruistic tendencies and bring some feel-good to your family? You’ll find that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.
It’s a tax deduction. As the end of the year approaches, it’s nice to know you can significantly lower your tax bill just by giving money (or goods) to a qualified charitable organization. Just make sure you know the rules and document your giving.
How to Get Started
Now that we’ve covered the whys, let’s get into the hows: How do you make giving a priority this holiday season? (more…)