After all the presents were open my mother would say that we had one more thing we needed to do. Inside the tree would be four envelopes with each member of my families name on it. My mom would would let us know how much money we have to give and we were told to pick our favorite charity to give money to for the end of the year. We would go around the room and say why were were choosing that particular charity and then she would right a check in our name for a donation.
I would almost always choose to give to the american cancer society since both of my grandmother's had breast cancer during my childhood. I felt that this was a cause close to me and my family and that others needed my help. I always felt so great when mom wrote those checks to give to charity.
When I think back to this tradition I think my mom created a genius way to teach kids about giving and making sure that the holidays are not just about opening presents and leaving out cookies. That the holidays are a time to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the feeling of giving.
My husband and I don't have any children yet and we both have a charity that we give monthly to during the year. However, I think that if I ever have kids that I will continue this tradition that my mother started. I am so grateful that my mother cared so much about teaching us about how to be the best people we could be.
Below are two of my other favorite charities, and links to videos that we at WYCD have done to help raise awareness. If you can this holiday season please consider giving to help a cause that means something to you.
Cheers to a very Happy Holiday. And remember: Consume More, Buy Less, Give a Gift.
Fight Parkinson's disease.
Give Clean Water
Give Clean Water