10 ways to make generosity a family tradition

Traditions can bring families together and build a strong sense of identity, especially during the Christmas season. So, why not be intentional with your time this December and plan some fun new activities every generation can enjoy?

Here are 10 ways to make generosity your family’s tradition at Christmas and beyond:

Big tip Tuesday: Every Tuesday, take your family out for a meal, and leave an extravagant tip for your server. Let a different family member decide the amount every time, and whether it should be anonymous.

Kid’s shopping spree in reverse: Take young children to shop (on a budget) for gifts to donate to kids in need. They’ll experience what it feels like to pick out a toy that’s not for them, and they’ll learn what things cost.

YES! Day: Pick one (or several) days throughout the season when you say “yes” to every charitable request you receive, even if it’s just a small gift, prayer, or volunteer commitment.

Year-end giving review: Run reports from your Giving Fund to see when, where, and what you gave this year so far. Share your impact with your family to celebrate or decide how you’d like to give differently. As a family, come up with a giving goal or statement to guide you in next year’s giving.

Christmas cards for strangers: Instead of (or in addition to) sending cards to friends and family, buy a box of Christmas cards and write an encouraging message or verse to share with people you meet during your day.

Consistent giving: If you haven’t already, encourage the children in your family to regularly set aside money for giving. Then, use your Giving Fund to research charities as a family. Every time your child’s set-aside amount for giving reaches a certain amount, log into your fund with your kids so they can make grants to their favorite charities.

Serving days (instead of shopping days): Count how many days there are until Christmas, and see how many volunteer opportunities you can plan as a family so you spend more time serving and less time shopping.

Leading by example: Think about organizations you could get involved with on a regular basis. The best way to encourage your kids to prioritize volunteer work throughout their lives is to regularly volunteer yourself.

The Advent box: On December 1, set out a large empty box to fill with non-perishable food items for your local food pantry. Look up a food pantry Advent list or make a list of your own. Each day of the month, put a new item in your box to donate at the beginning of the new year.

The joy jar: Encourage everyone to jot down their favorite moments of generosity and drop them in the joy jar. Keep it going all year long, and read them all next Christmas Eve.

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” – John 1:9

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