Teaching kids to “round up” this Christmas

With the Countdown to Christmas fast winding down, despite last-minute shopping and a little bit of frazzle, the days right before and after the Big Day offer great opportunities for helping kids focus on giving vs. getting.

Here are quick and easy ways to model thinking about others, even while finishing up errands and to-do-lists:

--Some stores and fast food franchises offer the option of adding $1 (or more) to specific charities, and Goodwill Thrift Stores offer “rounding up” to the next dollar. Say, “yes”!

--Put that loose change in the Salvation Army Red Kettles vs. purse or pocket.

--Top off a Toys for Tots box tonight or tomorrow.

--Visit an elder in a nursing home; he or she need not be family. Wrap up a gift for a family member’s roommate or even a stranger and deliver the present with big smiles.

--Before or after Christmas, to make room for the new toys, help kids donate a few of the old ones. Ditto for coats and other winter wear. (As Goodwill Industries says, “Even small donations can make a big impact. Give smart,” and also “The warmest gift is one that changes a life.”)

Dale Evans, actress, singer-songwriter, and wife of Roy Rogers, who both reached their zenith of popularity as cowgirl/cowboy crooners in the 1950s, once said, “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”

Help demonstrate love in action to and with your children, and may this Christmas bring joy and blessings in great abundance.