For the last few years one of our advent activities, for our kids, was to take them to pick out a gift for each other. I liked doing it because it gave them the experience of having to think of getting something for someone else instead of themselves. Kids tend to only consider their wants and I always wanted my kids to gain an appreciation for thinking of others.
Now that they are a little older, we decided to let them pick a person that they want to get a gift for and then pick out the gift for that person. When I propositioned them, we went with the first person they thought of. I started with asking the youngest 2 [my oldest was at his cousin’s house at the time], “if you could get a gift for anyone you want, who would you get a gift for?” Immediately my daughter (Isla), she’s almost 6 years old, says “Meena!” Meena, is what they call my mom (my nephew made it up when he was like a year old (he is 9 now) and it’s continued to stick). So then I asked my youngest (Harrison), he’s 3, and he immediately responded, “baby Joe!” Baby Joe is the same age as he is, but he has been “baby Joe” for forever [he is named after a long line of Josephs]. Without hesitation they both told me the exact gift that they wanted to buy them. Isla said she wanted to get Meena a grinch mug and Harrison wanted to get baby Joe a dinosaur racetrack.
The following day, we were doing a yes day for the kids. They had asked to be taken to Target, so we figured we would let them get their gifts for their person while we were there. My oldest (Wylan), he is 9 years old, when I asked him the same question he immediately responded with, “you”. How my heart melted knowing I was his first thought ❤️. Now since I was there during this trip, we decided that my husband would have to take him on a solo trip another day.
We spent well over an hour at Target while the kids had their fun on their yes day experience and searching for their gifts for their person. We didn’t wind up finding the mug, but Isla found a couple other things that she thought Meena would love. Harrison wound up finding baby Joe a dinosaur hooded blanket instead of a racetrack.
I love seeing them think of others and how their little minds pick something special for them. I think we will keep this tradition going each year, as I already know they get plenty for Christmas. Teaching them the spirit of giving is important to me.
How do you teach your kids to be giving? Do you have traditions of letting them pick a gift for someone?