I received a copy of Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas to review. The post, ideas, and content are totally my own, as always!
Every store has had Christmas decorations and gifts front and center for weeks now. So are you in the Christmas spirit yet? With all the commercialism, it can be difficult to teach kids, especially preschoolers, the true meaning of the holiday season. Preschoolers- even the excellent ones- tend to be overly egocentric during Christmas, and I’ve determined to steer my daughter in another direction this year. I’ve devised five ways that I believe I can encourage ‘giving back’ as a family value to my preschooler. Read on for these, as well as a fun movie review and giveaway to enforce these values.
1. Participate in a joint giving collective– Even kids like to feel part of ‘the big picture’. As a church group and family, we participate in a local food drive ministry and Operation Christmas Child shoe box collection. My daughter is old enough now to help me pick out the items to go in the shoe box or the food drive bin. Letting her chose items helps give her a sense of ownership of our family project, and it helps her realize that her world is bigger than her home, family, and preschool.
2. Make handmade gifts for family and friends– Ahh….the value of putting your whole heart into something. Anything that you’ve made with your own hands or bought with your own money typically means more to you than something randomly bought. Kids like to make crafts, and they tend to put their love and imagination into what they do. My daughter gets out flower stencils when making things for her grandma because ‘she likes flowers’. And she sticks alien stickers on things for her cousin because ‘he’s a boy who like aliens’. Kids think things through, and encouraging them to make a card or gift will direct the focus onto the recipient rather than the gift.
3. Let them chose someone who needs ‘extra cheer’– I’m constantly amazed at the people my daughter has on her mind. Most of the time, it’s someone I’m not even thinking about. Last night, she prayed for my husband’s dentist whose wife just had a baby. I’m like, who?? Let the child take ownership of a special person that they have on their heart.
4. Make holiday goodies for someone in need or shut in at home– Start a dialogue with your child about the needs of others by making Christmas treats for those who need them and maybe even visiting someone in the process.
5. Let them participate in the same giving opportunities as you– The best way to lay a groundwork of giving back in a preschooler (or any kid, for that matter) is to be the example. It is difficult to teach a child a value that the parent does not portray. Do you make a blanket or crochet hats for a cause? Let them pick out the colors for your next project. Do you gather stocking supplies for the Salvation Army or pack an Operation Christmas Child shoe box? Let them chose items. Even kids as young as three can appropriately participate in many tasks.
In line with this topic, we recently were able to check out the new Veggie Tales Christmas DVD Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas. Complete with Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, the heart of this movie stars a little girl who is trying in her own small way to help a needy neighbor. Her desire is an inspiration to those around her, as we found out in the movie. I won’t spoil it for you, but she manages to get the whole Veggie Tales gang on board in a special way!
Here’s a snippet from the Press Release to learn a little more about the movie:
Top-rated reality television star, Si Robertson, is transformed into a loveable and wise okra janitor named Silas. Silas narrates the adventures of the holiday flick, which stars Larry the Cucumber, the vibrant Head Elf of the mall who will stop at nothing to assist a compassionate young girl on her quest to help a neighbor in need for Christmas. Bob the Tomato co-stars as Phillip Fleagle, a harried mall employee who takes some time to realize that there is more to the holiday season than material gifts and light displays.
Visit the VeggieTales.com page to even download coloring pages to accompany the movie!
One of my lucky readers will be the winner of a copy of Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas. Use the below Rafflecopter form to enter to win!
It Happens in a Blink is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway open to US only.