Holiday spending series: ’Tis the season to be thankful

Sometimes young children who have grown up with abundance may not necessarily realize that they need to be thankful and may think that everyone in the world has what they have.

Holidays are good time to reflect and be thankful for what we have.  It is also a great time to teach our children that the holidays are not just about gifts and consumerism, but it is a time to appreciate everything they have and learn how to give to the less fortunate.

Sometimes young children who have grown up with abundance may not necessarily realize that they need to be thankful and may think that everyone in the world has what they have.  Ask your children what they are thankful for. If they are struggling with an answer, you can offer your own answer as to what you are thankful for, and explain to them that there are less fortunate people in the world who cannot afford the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing and a home.

You can talk about how your family can help and how giving others can result in personal satisfaction and happiness. Together with your children, you can choose how your family can help those in need. You can participate in a local food drive and donate some non-perishable food items. The Daily Bread Food Bank is a great not-for-profit organization that distributes food to the needy through various food banks and meal programs.

Another great way to help people is by purchasing an animal (such as a cow or a sheep) through a not-for-profit organization such as Heifer International.  The animals help families achieve self-reliance,  give a steady supply of nutrition in the form of products like eggs and milk and also provide a dependable source of income from the sale of products like wool, honey and other produce. As well, for each animal received, families agree to pass on the offspring of that animal to another person in need, so the families create a cycle of positive change.

You can explain to your children that some children do not have as many toys as they do and encourage them to participate in a toy drive. Instead of buying a toy, you can ask your children to donate one of their toys or books in a very good condition that they do not use any more. Asking them to part with one item is teaching them to give something of their own for the benefit of others.  You could suggest that they save their allowance for a couple of weeks and buy a toy for a child who is not as lucky as them.

If you have no money to donate, you can give a gift of your talent and time. You can make a family affair out of it and volunteer in a local food bank or just do nice things for your elderly neighbours by shovelling their driveway. You could also visit a seniors’ home and spend some time playing board games, reading or simply just chatting.

Happy Holidays! Happy Giving! 

About the Author

Maya Kuc Corbic, CPA, CA

Dinarii Financial Education Academy
Maya is a passionate advocate of financial literacy and is the founder of Dinarii Financial Education Academy. The academy’s mission is to teach children and youth financial literacy skills in a fun and engaging way, and give tools to parents to continue teaching personal finance at home. Dinarii offers student and parent workshops that qualify for the Parents Reaching Out Grant.