A haul of presents is a delight for your child, but the festive season is also a time to encourage generosity and embrace the true spirit of Christmas…Giving.
The romantic notion is that Christmas is a time of loving and giving, but ask any child what it means to them and chances are that receiving a huge pile of presents comes top of the list. Children however are naturally very generous. Watch any child toss a coin in a charity collection box, or bring in a gift for teacher and you can see the sense of joy it brings. Altruistic children become altruistic adults so let the kids pick a few gifts for the special people in their lives this year that keep on giving, and have a conversation with them about how their choice of gift can really help change lives…
Embrace the Spirit of Christmas
•Be a good role model: Teaching by example is one of the most effective ways to influence your child’s behaviour. Let them see your caring side.
•Think of others: When your child recites their wish list, ask them what they think other members of the family would like too.
•Recycle old toys: Okay, this is hard. Getting children to give up toys is like pulling teeth but if you can, adopt a one-in-one-out policy and encourage them to donate toys no longer played with to a charity or younger cousins or friends,
•Pile on the praise: Recognise when your child displays generous behaviour and tell them how happy it makes you.
Great Charity Gift Ideas
Soft Toys that give back more than cuddles
IKEA’s Good Cause Campaign is back for 2016. For every children’s book and toy sold from November 20 to Christmas Eve, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of €1 to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world, supporting children’s development and learning, equal participation, sports and of course, play. Some of the organisations benefiting from the campaign include War Child, Save the Children, UNICEF and Special Olympics, to name a few.
Last year IKEA invited kids from around the world to help them create a limited-edition collection of toys for Christmas 2016, which not only encourages creativity and play, but also helps towards the good cause campaign. This year’s drawing competition runs in store at IKEA Belfast from November 20-27 2016, for IKEA FAMILY members. For more information visit ikea.co.uk
Apatosaurus the dinosaur: 7-year-old Yik from Hong Kong doesn’t want her soft toy dinosaur to disappear like the real dinosaurs, so hopes every kid gets one!
Pachón: Amina, 6 years old from Spain called her Owl Pachón because it means cuddly in Mexican and her mother is from Mexico. Armina just wanted to draw something pretty to help other children.
Gifts of love that can change lives
Belfast school children Osaruese Egbomeade (9) and Dayha (11), Noah (9) and Ayla (6) Hunt are hoping to make wishes come true this Christmas for thousands of vulnerable children worldwide.
The St Malachy’s and St Ita’s Primary School pupils are supporting Concern’s Christmas gifts – from farm animals to bicycle ambulances – to help change the lives of families in some of the toughest places in the world. For a gift for teacher this year, why not consider buying them school books for a child?
Last year, more than 14,000 gifts were bought by people in the UK and delivered by Concern, enabling 3,000 children to start school for the first time, and providing 1,500 families with a regular supply of eggs to eat and sell from chickens they received.
To order visit www.concerngifts.org
Helping babies around the world with socially-conscious shopping
The Big Issue, established 25 years ago, was a pioneer for social trading and has enabled thousands of people to achieve life-enhancing steps forward in their journeys away from poverty and social exclusion. It has now developed an e-commerce marketplace encouraging "socially-conscious shopping" and part of this online shop features a fab selection of baby/children's wear.
Founder and editor-in-chief of The Big Issue Lord John Bird says ‘It’s a very special shop because what we sell helps. It helps you because it’s something that you want to buy. It helps us because it gives us income for our work. And it helps the people who make the stuff that we sell to you! It’s a virtuous circle. Winners all around. And it’s all social trading’.
From Babies with Love is the award-winning baby brand that donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. The profits from the design-led, ethically sourced range of products support the children to grow up in loving family homes dedicated children’s villages. The children have an SOS Mother, brothers and sisters, recreating a family unit and supporting the children to go on to independent adult lives, breaking the cycle of poverty. Find at www.bigissueshop.com/collections/baby-child
For Nature Lovers at Christmas
A very special present for an animal lover helping to protect some of the world's most vulnerable animals by becoming a WWF adopter. Choose from the range of adoption animals including elephants, leopards, gorillas, rhinos or pandas from just £3 a month. Relentless hunting and a loss of their natural habitats has led to a catastrophic fall in the numbers of many species and the gift of adoption will help the charity continue their crucial work in helping them survive. Find out more at www.support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-an-animal