NEW TAKES ON GIFT-GIVING

Do the children in your life have enough video games, plastic toys and gadgets? If they do, you have options for more thoughtful gifts this season. These ideas will not only make you a star gift-giver, but you’ll also be spreading charity, kindness and compassion. This year, choose gifts that reflect your family’s priorities and values -- and that make your recipient feel good, too! You can find a variety of possibilities in our DGT Shop Kind gallery.

Talk to your child: What sorts of gifts do you like to give? To receive? What’s nice about gift giving? What can be hard about it?

Book to share: The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. Ages 4 and up. A talented seamstress makes beautiful quilts for people who are poor and homeless. When the king decides he must have a quilt, she says he must give away everything before she will give

KITS THAT COUNT

Create assistance kits on the theme of health or school. Church World Service (CWS) will store your kits until needed by disaster victims or people who require continuing aid. Your kids will enjoy picking out the supplies and assembling these badly needed kits. Emergency buckets filled with cleanup supplies are needed as well. Consult the CWS website for what items to include in your kits and where to send them.

Talk to your child: Why is it important to help people struggling in other parts of the world? How would you feel if you didn’t have a toothbrush or even a pencil and then received one from someone kind?

Book to share: Cups Held Out by Judith L. Roth. Ages 4 -10. A young girl and her father cross the border into Mexico, where the child encounters poverty for the first time.

 

GRANDPARENT JOURNALS

Children love stories from their family history. They make us feel special, connected and centered in the world. To make sure these stories aren’t lost, brainstorm questions your kids can ask their grandparents. If they’re old enough, kids can do interviews and write down the answers. Or write the questions in blank journals and encourage their grandparents to write out their answers.

CHALK IT UP

Inspire passersby with chalk. Purchase some sidewalk chalk. Then draw bright, colorful pictures -- or write happy quotes. Some examples: Think happy, be happy. Be silly, be honest, be kind. A kind word is like a spring day. Kind people are the best kind of people. Always be kinder than necessary.