We’re heading into that time of year — the time for giving thanks, the time for giving to those we love, and the time for giving to those in need.
Thanksgiving offers a time for gratitude, and falling toward the end of the year, an opportunity to reflect on the year. The holidays at the end of the year offer a time for giving and sharing with family and friends.
This is a rich time of family tradition, and a tremendous opportunity to share with the younger set the values we have through the way we spend our money. These holidays also provide a context for a discussion about what truly matters, and how to share the bounty we might have found throughout the year, with others who were not so fortunate. Even the beginning of the cold — and in some parts of the country, snow — provides a more visceral understanding of need.
It can be an ongoing challenge to teach children about value as they are surrounded by materialism just about 24/7 thanks to the internet, smartphones, and social media. This constant onslaught of information can make it easier to fall into more of a mindset of deprivation — what they don’t have, what their friends have, or celebrities have, and how their lives are lacking.
Giving thanks puts the focus back on what we do have, and have been able to provide for our children, and an opportunity for kids to reflect and acknowledge gratitude for all they have been given. Giving to others, in the form of money, time, and other material donations, echoes our own good fortune, and also shares a clear value of what matters to a family.
The holiday season that starts Thursday can be an amazing and real opportunity to talk about gratitude, giving, and the value of helping others.