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Our "Play, Learn, Give" Christmas Tradition

The Holiday season is starting earlier and earlier it seems.  Halloween hasn't even arrived and Christmas items are already making their appearance in stores.  I start my Christmas shopping early (like many busy moms) and I know exactly what I am looking for (ok, not exactly, but close) when it comes to my two young children.  This is because my husband and I decided that each year for Christmas each of our kids would get three gifts.  One for fun and play, one for educational (and hopefully fun and play too), and one gift of giving.  We choose an item for the first two that they have really enjoyed or showed interest throughout the year.  For instance, this year my 3 year-old son is getting a small indoor trampoline to help both of us weather the cold Michigan winter.  

There are lots of different ways to do a gift of giving.  This year we are taking my kids to the mall to choose a name off the Salvation Army Angel Tree, purchase a gift, and give it back.  We feel at this age it's important that they actually participate in the physical process.  But you can order a catalog from Samaritan's Purse or Heifer International and have your kids choose an item from there.  If money's tight (and whose isn't right now?) you can show them the joy of doing good for others on Christmas by taking hot cocoa and cookies to fireman or police officers that have to work even on holidays to keep us safe.

We find with the "Play, Learn, Give" Christmas giving that our children really appreciate and use what they get from us and truly learn to appreciate the ability to do good for others.  And that's really what the Holiday season is all about. 

Nicole S.
I think that that is a great idea! We do not have children, but are very involved in our friend's children's lives. This year, we are getting them a child friendly cookbook.
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