A Giving Christmas: Teri from Climbing the Willow

Today I have Teri from Climbing the Willow here today. Teri has a great blog and a lot of fun tutorials that you should check out! I love how she is getting her kids involved with spreading joy this season. Thank you so much Teri for sharing!!


First, I'd like to say hello to all the Paisley Roots readers! I'm Teri from Climbing the Willow.  And second, I can't help but add that I just recently discovered the Paisley Roots blog and I love it already!  Especially the Popover Jacket ... I can't wait to make one for my little Mae :)

When Karly asked for bloggers to participate in series called A Giving Christmas, which helps kids focus on giving (contrary to the more popular "I wants" that run rampant this time of year), I was quick to sign up.  Although I grew up with very generous parents who still give every chance they get and taught me to do the same, I sometimes find that the chaos that comes with a large family distracts me from focusing on what really matters, especially this time of year :)  And I want my kids to experience the same joy of giving that I did when I was little.  In other words, I want to see this level of joy on their faces without presents just out of the picture :)

At first I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the kids for this series, but then while laying in bed one night while everyone else was sleeping (I'm fairly sure every good idea in my life happens in the middle of the night!) I realized I wanted them to learn that giving joys brings joy also.

I've always been fascinated with the idea of random acts of kindness.  You know, the person who pays for the food of the person behind them in the drive-thru or the person who leaves a large anonymous tip, or maybe something as simple as holding the door open at the grocery store for as many people as you can.  I wanted to take that idea but make it slightly more deliberate.

It should come as no surprise that people are more likely to do something if they enjoy it, and I want my kids to learn to enjoy giving, so we are making it something of a game.  First (with the kids' help) I made a list of "joy bringing" acts that they can easily perform in the course of a normal school day.  Then we printed them out, cut them into strips, and put them in a bowl.  Each evening, I have the kids pick a piece of paper (without peeking!) so they can prepare for the next day.

So far, I'm seeing mixed results.  The younger kids think it's fun and get excited to complete their "task" for the day.  And they eagerly (i.e. loudly!) tell me the results when they get home each day.  The older ones ... especially the boys for some reason ... are more reluctant to participate with mom's crazy idea :) but with a little persuasion from me, they have gone along with it, and I'm hoping the whole experience will be positive.

I've learned that as much as I wish I could, I cannot force my kids to be more giving.  However, I can be an example to them, so I too am participating, although my "joy bringing" acts do tend to be a bit more random since I don't tend to leave the house during the colder days of the year :)

You can easily create your own list or just borrow mine from here - it's a pdf that you can print.  It includes a list for both Elementary Age and Middle/High School.

From everyone at my house to everyone at your house ... Merry Christmas!  And may you find joy  this season :)

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