Seriously, I really like socks. I will wear a nice pair of socks until all the elastic is gone or until my toes start sticking out the end. Last year, my kids got me a few of the coolest pairs of socks for Christmas. This year, I’m hoping for more of the same. Nothing else under the tree for me, please. #Greatestgift
Everyone loves giving and getting gifts over the Holidays. Opening presents makes us feel special and reminds us of the excitement of being a kid. And who doesn’t love spoiling their kids with loads of presents? It is only once a year after all, if you exclude Birthdays, Graduations, Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Canada Day, and all the random gift occasions in-between.
You don’t need to be reminded that gift giving, especially around the Holidays, is out of control. I’m not suggesting that we all stop giving gifts, but here is something to think about...
Here is where the socks come in. For the past couple of years, our family has tried to put less emphasis on presents, while trying to encourage a conversation around meaningful things we can do for others. My two boys are three and six, and for them, there is no such thing as “too many presents”. They are at a naturally egocentric age, but it is also a great age to talk about kindness and compassion for others and to involve them in family decisions.
If your family hasn’t had a conversation around doing something meaningful for others this Holiday season, I hope you will consider it. Consider putting a little less money into the presents this year and instead discuss, as a family, where some of that extra money might go. The average Canadian holiday budget is just about $1,000 per person. The median charitable giving per person, on the other hand, was around $270 in 20121, and that was for the whole year! It doesn’t even have to be money. You can donate clothes or household items; you can get the kids to go through and pick out some of their old toys to donate; or donate time. By starting a new holiday tradition you can show your children (rather than tell them) that the Holidays are not just about presents.
Finally, if your family does decide to donate, this is why we believe an investment in Big Brothers Big Sisters is the Greatest Gift you will make all year...
Big Brothers Big Sisters is equipping children in your community with the tools they need to overcome the challenges they will face. In doing so, we are helping young people reach their full potential. Our paid, professional caseworkers, across the country, are supporting important relationships between at-risk young people and volunteer mentors each and every day. Our mentors are not superheroes. They show up and they listen, and, in many cases, this alone can make all the difference in the world to a child who needs extra guidance and support. Donate.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
1Statistics Canada - Charitable Donors