So are your kids making lists yet? I want to talk about how we can do more with our giving. Specifically, my blog partner prAna asked me to share how we give back as a family. (And, there’s a great discount code waiting for you at the end of my tips!)
Weeeellll… I made a wee mistake this year in trying to curb our children’s consumerism: whenever they’d want something, I’d tell them to put it on their Christmas / Birthday list. Short-term, that worked, and they’d “turn their wanter off” temporarily, knowing their desired item was on the list.
But now it’s Christmas. And boy, our kids have looong memories. I’m getting reminded of those “lists” every day now! So… we sat down to chat about gifts and giving, and setting appropriate expectations.
Talking about giving back as a family
I think the first step in giving back as a family is raising awareness in our children. Help them see that a) they don’t need to get everything on their list and b) most kids around the world don’t have the luxury of making dream lists. I want our boys to see the world in reality and not just from our seat of abundance.
A catchphrase in our house is “think of others.” So I asked the boys to help me brainstorm ways we can “think of others” this time of year. (It’s always helpful to ask kids to relate giving to a specific event, or kids in their specific age or interest to personalize their giving).
Ways to give back as a family
We brainstormed ways families can give back and here’s some ideas (most of these are the kids ideas with my tweaks or suggestions):
Make cards for people. Kids love to draw and make things. Refocus their artistic efforts into making cards and handcrafted items to give away!
Spend time with friends and family. The gift of time is vastly underrated and especially by children who no nothing of how fast the years go.
Visit the elderly. This turns kids’ love for quality time back out into the world. We’ve been stopping by our local senior center once a week to play games, color, and do crafts with the seniors there.
Attend a local concert or event. Supporting local artists and events is a small gesture with big impact. Plus the kids get culture and I enjoy putting on a fun outfit and getting out of the house.
Buy from a local farm. Now that’s not exactly how the boys said it but they understand buying local matters. Supporting area farms and businesses is an important part of giving back. So we trucked off this weekend to a local tree farm and had a blast tromping around looking for the perfect tree. Buying local is an easy way to get what you need for holidays and give back at the same time. Of course, you probably won’t find everything you need in your area, so buying Fair Trade and/or sustainable gifts also helps you give back. I love talking to the boys about the different countries and cultures our gifts come from.
Play with someone. Invite a new kid over. Or someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Parents, set aside play time to be with your kids! We forget the gift of giving time to our own children. Kids want to chase you around, be tickled, be read to, sit and chat about their ideas for their latest creations. Honestly, at the tree farm, we had a hard time stopping our fun to grab some photos at the local tree farm. Kids just love to soak up time with their parents.
Making GIVING the most important part
Our kids might grow wide-eyed at gigantic displays of toys and goodies, and make fantastical lists. But I think they’re also getting a glimpse that in this season of gift-giving, the giving part is most important.
Whether giving quality time, quality experiences, or quality goods, you’ll notice one thing in common. Quality. We’ll be constantly talking to our boys about putting thoughtful consideration into the kind and quality of gifts we give. The holidays are a time use gift giving and receiving to help instill a spirit of charity that lasts beyond Christmas.
Give prAna Quality
We all know that powerful feel-good energy a great outfit can give. When you buy sustainable clothing like the outfits I’m wearing from prAna, that’s putting action behind your words (and kids notice this!). It’s even better knowing your clothing purchase from prAna gives back on the front and back end. By buying sustainable and Fair Trade, you support the rights of workers around the world. Then, your purchase helps prAna donate locally to local disaster relief and non-profit organizations that promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Plus, prAna looks and feels good! Their styles blend function and fashion for modern appeal. I’m wearing my favorite jeans from…well, anybody – the Kara Jean by prAna is made from stretchy and soft organic cotton. With extra long legs, you can cuff these pants up or down for various looks.
Add a base layer and a cozy hoodie like prAna’s Rockaway Jacket and your outfit is perfect for shopping, spending time with the kids, or hanging out at home. I’ve been wearing this hoodie non-stop because of how fleecy soft it is (50% recycled poly) while keeping me warm. Plus the two-toned gray jacket has a delicate honeycomb texture that makes this hoodie stand out from the rest.
Get 15% off your entire prAna order!
Use promocode CMHH17 to get 15% off your entire prAna order. Now that’s giving to you while you give back with your buying choices!
What are some ways you and your family choose to give back during the holidays?
Thanks to our sponsor prAna for sending clothing to showcase in this post. All opinions are my own.