Teaching Your Kids to Give Back #GivingTuesday


I have always been a little troubled how we in America kick off the Christmas season. First off, stores are starting all the Christmas stuff earlier and earlier. I heard Christmas music at a store in late October. Thanksgiving barely gets a mention because it’s all people trampling over each other in Wal-Mart to get a big screen TV. Small Business Saturday (which I actually love), followed by Cyber Monday rounds out the weekend.

I will admit I did some Black Friday shopping in my pajamas. Even if they were giving away free puppies there is just no way I would head out into the madness. I love a good deal like the next person, but the constant push for more stuff, bigger stuff, cheaper stuff…. it starts to deflate all my Christmas spirit.

Last year I got wind of a new tradition that I love. What if we followed up Blacksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with a day that has nothing to do with getting more stuff? What if we shifted the focus from consuming to giving? Now THAT is a day I can totally get behind. Thank goodness for #GivingTuesday.

We try and find ways to give back every throughout the year and especially around the holidays. Even so, I love the idea of a day to “rally the troops” and get everyone focused on ways to help those around them. Here are some ways we are giving back this year in case you need a little inspiration.

    1. Every year our family shops the World Vision catalog. Each of our kids picks out something to donate to someone across the world. (shhh….. don’t tell my kids the cute animals they buy are to be eaten…..). This year I am even more excited because Lily has been learning a lot about the lack of clean water around the world and has become very passionate about the subject. I think as the kids get older this tradition will take on more and more meaning.
    2. We had so much fun doing random acts of kindness for Grace and my mom’s birthday that we will be joining the RACK movement and looking for ways to bless people for the next 25 days. Today I started small and gave someone my cart at Aldi. I saved someone a quarter!! That’s random and kind right? I think it will be fun to keep our collective eyes peeled and report to each other things we have done.
    3. One of our favorite local charities is Kid’s Food Basket. And one of our favorite ways to “give back” to them is to decorate bags for their kid’s meals to go into to. By the end of the month, I hope to have a huge pile of bags we have decorated as a family to bring joy to some child’s day.

Three simple and relatively easy ways to shift the focus off our own wish lists this Christmas. I have seen the power of social media to do good and affect change and I can’t wait to follow the #GivingTuesday hashtag and be inspired by what others around me are doing.

Join the movement on Dec. 3rd. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Most importantly get your family involved in a movement to change the tone of the holiday season. I think it is a step in the right direction, don’t you?

Will you be participating in #GivingTuesday? How does your family give back during the holidays?

This post was sponsored by The Motherhood. My compensation will be donated to World Vision in honor of #GivingTuesday. 


  1. Stephanie P says:

    Thanks so much for sharing RACK the World with your readers Jill! So excited about this Christmas season!

    And I love and support KFB and World Vision as well! :) We have not yet purchased gifts from WV’s catalog, but planned to this year. Now if my kiddos could only agree on which animals to give, lol!

  2. Great idea! For our house during the next 24 days, we will daily be reading a few ideas from Matthew West’s book, 101 simple ways to Give Christmas Away. We started last night and followed through with the first idea of Operation Christmas Child. Even though we were too late to prepare and mail a filled shoe box of gifts from our home, we were able to go on their website, fill a box by selecting gifts, write a note and even attach a photo of my kids. My kids loved this idea and I loved the easy follow-through. The box will be physically filled and mailed by their organization. Woo-hoo!
    I also just read about Kindness Elves. I’m not a fan of the Elf on the Shelf but this Kindness Elf holds small notes with ideas like baking cookies together, visiting an elderly friend and any other act of kindness or love. What a GREAT idea. Bless whoever came up with that idea! Although, I won’t be doing the Kindness Elf. The Matthew West book will be our focus this December.
    Way to go Jill, encouraging us all to teach our kids the opposite of pushing our way through a door on Black Friday! I’m with ya 100%!!!!

  3. I love Giving Tuesday! Several nonprofits whose mailing lists I subscribe to have emailed me about it today; very exciting! It is gaining ground!

    And I LOVE the idea of doing random acts of kindness in celebration of a birthday, by the way!
    tiffany recently posted…#BakingIdeas and a Sweet Coupon to Get You Started!My Profile

  4. You know what? I’d forgotten about the idea of giving Annalyn a set amount of money to give away! I think this would be the perfect year to start that tradition!! Thanks for the ideas here!
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…Easy Holiday Craft: No Sew Fabric WreathMy Profile

    • My kids LOVE the day we do the World Vision catalog. They get so excited. She is also probably old enough for another tradition we do. Each kid gets a WV kid that has the exact same birthday as them. Makes the connection much stronger!

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