It’s so easy to get caught up over Christmas time with thoughts of the gifts you’d like to receive and especially so for children. The whole festive season is largely centred around amazing toy adverts on TV and reminding your children to be good if they want Santa to come with gifts; so it’s no surprise that receiving is naturally their main focus. I’m determined though to instil in my boys the importance of giving too. I don’t mean gifts to friends and family, of course it’s important to make your loved ones feel appreciated but I really want them to be involved in giving to those that need it and giving for the joy of giving rather than with the intention to receive.
We’ve already made a start at this, we had a big clear out, going through toys that the boys no longer play with to give to charity. Jasper seemed to really grasp the concept of him having enough toys and it being kind to give them to children who don’t have as many. He sorted through them and helped me put them into piles ‘for Jaspy to keep’ and ‘for other children’ and then a heap of broken and incomplete sets for the bin! We then saw it through by taking them all in a big bag to our local charity shop where he waved them off … then had a panic and asked for them back (baby steps).
We’re also taking part in the shoe box appeal which was something I just loved doing when I was younger. I showed Jasper a video of children receiving their shoeboxes last year and explained as best I could to a 2 year old that they didn’t have many toys but very kind boys and girls sent them some and he seemed excited to send some too. We’ve been busy buying things to put in them and have a date with grandma tomorrow to make them up and send them off.
Another way that we’re getting involved in charity this festive season is by supporting the Alder Hey charities #GetYourStripes campaign in association with Matalan. All money raised supports the children and families at the Alder Hey Childrens hospital by funding vital research as well as providing incredible services such as virtual visiting for the neonatal unit, cardiac patient distractions and personalised bedrooms for patients. The thought of my children being in hospital for anything let alone a serious and life threatening illness is heartbreaking and scary but knowing that there are facilities like these; aimed at not only making children better but making their stay as comfortable and fun as possible is just truly incredible.
The #GetYourStripes campaign sees mums, dads, children and pets in green, red and white festive pj’s and accessories from Matalan whereby 100% of profits go to Alder Hey. Wearers are sharing how they plan to get their stripes this Christmas whether it be husbands doing the washing up after Christmas dinner or big brothers being kind to their younger siblings. Jasper has told me that he’s going to be a good boy and tidy his toys as well as listen to mummy to get his stripes. I’m going to take more time to help friends and family without being asked; whether it be picking up the papers and some milk on my way to visit my parents or taking Petes car to be cleaned while he’s busy working to get my stripes.
Matalan have also asked me to share my hacks and tips this Christmas in order to get my stripes so I created a little video full of ways to make Christmas with a young family that much easier.
If you’re looking for a way to give to others this Christmas then definitely check out the incredible Alder Hey charity; their team and patients are truly incredible and inspiring and will certainly get you thinking about how you’ll #GetYourStripes this Christmas!
Do you think it’s important to teach your children to give at Christmas time? How will you #GetYourStripes?
Thanks for reading,