Teaching kids the gift of giving

The Christmas season is the time for gift-giving and children are always the central thought during this holiday period.

I knew my kids would be receiving a few toys this year from their parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, ninongs and ninangs.  In the spirit of Christmas, I asked them to do one of the hardest things imaginable for a child – to give up their toy, share them with kids who have little to nothing, and put a smile on their faces this Christmas.

“Can you give your toys to someone whose mom and dad cannot buy them toys this Christmas?” I asked my 4 year old. She then of course asked why they can’t buy toys for their kids because toddlers ask the hardest questions of all time.

“But these are mine and Dru’s,” she said.

“You already have so many…” In fact she had a box of stuff toys hidden away because I didn’t want them to gather dust.

“Okay mommy,” she gave in after a few moments of thinking then we went on to the selection process.


image owned by Inspire@HP

I knew we have a Toy Drive at work every year so I gathered the stuff toys I put in a box after putting them in the laundry some months ago, along with baby toys that my 2 year old does not play with anymore and those Mcdonald happy meal toys they played with once then were long forgotten at the bottom of the toy bin.


There was some negotiating on which stuffed toy would go, all she kept in the end was the Mr. Carrot stuffed toy that you get from Rustan’s grocery when you gather enough stickers. All the other teddy bears and doggie stuff toys went into the donation pile.


She clung on to these baby puzzle toys and said, “but that’s Dru’s!”

I told her, “but he doesn’t play with them anymore because these are for babies, he’s big now. These will make a baby somewhere happy. She doesn’t have toys so we want to share these toys so that they are happy too, okay?”

Again there was that sad face- “Okay mommy. I understand.”

We kept one puzzle toy with stacking cups and then went on to negotiate on the McDonald happy meal toys. We eventually only kept two little ponies and gave up the penguins, smurfs, and minions.



All wrapped up! I got some used holiday wrapper from a White Elephant Exchange gift session at our team’s Christmas party and wrapped three happy meal toys to a gift and one big toy per big gift.


They said goodbye to the toys and did not cry when I put them in the car to bring to work. They already have photos of these toys and memories of their favorite ones when they were younger. I helped them understand that the thought of these toys making another kid happy as much as it did them, is priceless and that’s what Christmas is about –  making others happy.



I wanted to teach them in this experience to share what little they have this Christmas and put another child’s happiness first, before theirs’.

You don’t need to have much to make someone else happy, you just need to look at what you have and focus on what you really need.

3 days to go before Christmas!

Happy Holidays Everyone!






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