The holidays are here again – which means you’ve got wish lists, shopping trips and mounds and mounds of gift wrapping to attend to, don’t you?
Well give your tape dispenser a break for a minute, and spend just a few moments pondering this simple, age-old question:
Is it better to give or receive?
Getting stuff is certainly nice. And we’re sure you’d be happy to wake up Christmas morning to find that cute sweater you’ve had your eye on, or a gift certificate for a relaxing massage, or a hairbrush to replace the one your kids keep dropping in the toilet.
But as much as you might enjoy receiving any of those things for yourself, there’s nothing better than the feeling you get when someone else lights up at the sight of a gift you’ve given them.
That’s because humans are extremely social creatures. And anything that brings us closer together also brings us tremendous gratification. Research has found that across cultures, people who spend money on others are happier than people who spend it on themselves. So for us adults, choosing the giving experience over the getting one is often an easy choice to make.
But is the same thing true for our kids?
Based on how quickly children can get caught up asking for and obsessing over all the many, many things they absolutely cannot live without this time of year, you’d probably guess not.
That’s why this video from UP TV is so amazing. Check it out to see what happens when children have to make a choice between getting a gift they really, really want, or giving one to their parents instead:
We know. It totally got us too. How sweet are these kids?!
And despite all of the tantrums, eye rolls and talking back they may give you, your children are just as sweet as the kids on this video. So let’s give them a chance to show it this holiday season!
Instead of focusing only on all the things your little ones will be getting this year, try channeling their inner Santa by giving them lots of fun opportunities to do things for other people, too.
Here are a few simple ways to get started:
- Set up art supplies and invite them to make cards or gifts for loved ones.
- Ask them to help you brainstorm gift ideas for family, friends and teachers.
- Get them involved in baking, cooking and other non-present-opening activities that truly make holidays memorable.
- Help them spread joy and boost their own self-esteem by volunteering in the community or choosing gifts for local toy drives.
These easy activities not only capitalize on children’s natural desire to give to others, but they will also make the holidays more joyful, loving and full of happy tears for the whole family!