Encouraging Giving Instead of Gimme


Do you have any ideas on how to keep my kids from breaking into the "gimme, gimme's" with all the holidays coming up?


There are many ways to teach your kids to give instead of concentrating on getting throughout the holidays. You can make a list of people that need an extra bit of a lift during the holidays, then make a list of things you can do for those people.

Some things we have done for those on the "lift list" include the following:

  • We made a tie-quilt* for the children's hospital. It just uses yarn to hold it together.
  • Filling stockings is a standard idea. If for prison or jail, you can get lists of things that detainees are permitted to have -- and NOT have.
  • We've made stockings for people who are HIV positive, for "secret families" and for a women's shelter.
  • Make gift bag of sample size stuff like toothpaste and we collect and clean tube socks for kids going off to detention centers and/or foster homes.
  • If you have older children or as your children get older they can help at a local food bank or serving at a soup kitchen. That will give the kids a special perspective on those who are less fortunate and help them appreciate the holidays in a new way.

*To make a tie quilt: You have two pieces of fabric with quilt batting in the middle and you just sew pieces of yarn through the layers and tie them on one side. Then add blanket binding around the edge. It's fast.

There are many other family traditions posted on Kas's Website,


Kas Winters

Kas Winters, the "Mother of Family Ideas," provides resources to help families thrive. An author and public speaker, this grandmother creates books, offers hundreds of family activity articles on her website, EverythingFamily.net, and does workshops for parents and children. Kas is passionate about helping children develop a positive self-image, providing hands-on experiences to give them confidence, and building strong supportive relationships. Her basic philosophy is: children learn best when they think they are having fun. Discover more than 5,000 activities for toddlers through teens to keep them busy while helping them become successful and happy adults in her book, "Motherlode." Jump-start children's imaginations with unstructured materials and possibilities. Encourage creative play that builds skills, confidence, and relationships with active fun, the arts, science, literature, life skills, and hands-on experiences. Ideas use everyday materials, usually free, which help make parenting easy. Winters has written, illustrated and/or published almost 100 books for families and writes family articles for magazines. As the "Family Activities Expert" for Pregnancy.org, Kas posts articles and answers questions related to this topic.