3 Fun Holiday Traditions that Teach Kids to Be Kind and Generous


The holidays are such a fun time for children young and old. Sometimes it is easy to lose the meaning of the holidays. With commercials for holiday gifts being blasted everywhere, children are especially vulnerable to getting caught up in the seasonal “gimmies.”

Why not establish a holiday tradition this year that will make a difference for years to come? Here are three fun holiday traditions that teach kids to be kind and generous.

Helpful Elf

Everyone should be a helpful elf during the holidays. Find a Christmas elf doll or decoration. Then set out to create a nice soft bed for your elf with all of the secret good deeds that you do. Place the elf in a box or basket, something that could represent a bed.

If you want to get fancy, YouTube offers instruction for crafting an Elf on the Shelf bed out of dollar store items.

Think of secret good deeds you can do for friends, family and even strangers, but don’t get caught! Each time you do a good deed, add a cotton ball or square to the bed. The goal is to make your elf as warm and comfortable as possible before the end of the holiday.

Advent Calendar

make an advent calendarThere is a lot of fun to opening the doors of an advent calendar. Each day during December through Christmas, a new door or window is opened, revealing a small prize. You can use this tradition in a new way that is just as much fun, or maybe more. Instead of placing chocolates or toys in the windows and doors, you’ll be placing something that is much more needed—direction for a food donation.

According to the direction that day, place a food item in a basket or box for a food bank or a neighbor in need.  You can decide to shop for the items, or to choose something directly from your own pantry. Many shelters and organizations offer a list of the most-needed food items.

Parents magazine has 23 different ideas for advent calendars, if you want to make your own.

Thankful Treeprintable ornaments

Decorate a tree with thankfulness while helping others. Leave a box of paper ornaments and markers or pencils in a box near your tree. Family members can take an ornament and write down something they are thankful for.

Choose a dollar amount per ornament. At the end of the season, add up all of the ornaments. The total dollar amount can be donated to a favorite charity. Printable ornaments can be found here.

We hope you enjoyed these holiday traditions that teach kids to be kind and generous. Which one is your favorite?

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