I enjoy the holidays for many reasons: family time, food, holiday parties, Christmas lights and cheesy Hallmark movies. Although I’ve always liked the holidays, becoming a parent has reawakened my holiday spirit and the joy of giving in many ways. I now look forward to the holidays with lots of anticipation and excitement in a way I never did before in my adult years. Yes, my children have helped me fall in love with the true meaning of Christmas all over again. They also taught me what it really means to give and to give with grace.
Three Ways My Children Teach Me About the Joy of Giving
Give to others without expecting anything in return
If you feel like doing something for someone, then just do it and don’t think about what you might receive in return. I find lessons like this can often be learned through your own life experiences as well as through reading books. When I read books like The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, I am often reminded of some very important lessons like giving without expecting anything in return. I have always like reading Berenstain Bears books and watching the cartoons on television when I was younger. I think these books teach great moral lessons and allow for further discussion and reflection with the discussion questions that are often found in the back of the book.
I love how Brother and Sister Bear learn to give generously to others in the book The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving. They gave their remaining money cheerfully to others instead of thinking of themselves.
It is more blessed to give than receive.
A valuable lesson to be learned for readers of all ages. Being a parent is a constant reminder to me to give to others without expecting anything in return. For everything I do for my children on a daily basis, I never say, “What’s in this for me?”
When you learn to give freely without expecting anything in return, you are not burdened with the need for praise, thanks, or appreciation. In a word you learn, grace–where you are recipient of the blessing.
Give as much as you can year-round
My children have taught me the importance of incorporating giving into my life all year long. During the holiday season, it’s easy to share our good fortune and blessings with others. We’re constantly reminded to give to fundraisers, food drives, bell ringers and charities.
When I look at my children, I’m reminded daily to not only give my all to them, but to give as much as I can to others too. It’s important to me my children see me model charity and giving from January through December. I don’t want them to grow up thinking people are only in need, or happy to accept help, during the holidays.
Each act of giving changes the world for the better
Even the smallest act of giving makes a positive impact. I witness this firsthand whenever I give to my children or treat them with kindness. It makes them in turn want to give joyfully to others. My children constantly teach me whether I’m asked or not, to seek opportunities to help others when you can.
You never know when a simple act of helping someone will cause a long-lasting, positive ripple effect in the world. It might not be felt right away, but as the ripples spread outward and impact others, they’re likely to bounce back to you in surprising and wonderful ways.
Your turn: How have your children taught you about the joy of giving? Feel free to share in the comments.
About The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
In The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.
Books referenced in this blog post:
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
By Jan & Mike Berenstain
In Stores Now! (released September 2010)
Recommended for ages 3-8