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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Giving gifts

Hello SRCC

It's that time of the year and I know many of you are checking off long lists of gifts to give to your children and family members, friends and colleagues.

I love giving gifts, its one of my favourite things to do.

But as a parent I have often struggled to balance giving my children gifts and also cultivating in them an attitude of gratitude.

The last thing I wanted to do was raise children who felt entitled to "stuff" and were not mindful of those around them.  Children who somehow thought the gifts under the tree were a measure of my love for them.

It is a struggle and I don't have the answer.

I know I picked a path that tried to balance the joy of giving and receiving gifts and the joy that comes from serving others, from giving to others.

I don't want to weigh my children down with guilt but I want them to know by virtue of the fact they live here, in Canada, in Richmond, they have a certain amount of privilege they should not take for granted.....that requires something of them.

You will soon see boxes in each of the centres for donations to the Richmond Food Bank.

We wanted to offer you an easy opportunity to initiate a conversation with your children about giving and others, to model giving to them, to help them notice that not everyone has everything they need.  It doesn't need to be "heavy" or serious but we think it's important to authentic and honest and we know children take up this information in ways that make sense for them.

We are raising global citizens together and we have our work cut out for us in this materialist western world.

Below are a few links that might help your thinking and give you some innovative ideas that move this season from its deep commercialism to one that grows your children's empathy and emotional IQ, builds your family and your community.

You take away all the other luxuries in life, and if you can make someone smile and laugh, you have given the most special gift: happiness.      Brad Garrett

Giving makes children happy