2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 10 – Santa’s Wishlist and The Gifts that keep on Giving.

Ten days into our Elf Adventure’s and we are ready to write a Wishlist to Santa. This is an activity I am VERY careful about! Christmas can easily become a time of want, want, want, me, me, me. 

This is how we keep this in check.

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We explain to our children that they can “wish” for four presents.  

Something they want, 

something they need

something to wear

and something to read.

This year we have changed it around a little bit! 

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So kids don’t really like receiving clothes and to be honest I dont really like giving them either!  So instead of something to wear, we are choosing something to learn!  

 Some ideas could be;

  • Puzzles
  • Magic Kit
  • Skipping Rope
  • Dance Game
  • Educational App 
  • Board Game
  • Knitting Set
  • Musical Instrument

The other major change we have made this year….

Something, SOMEONE ELSE, may NEED.

Last year we realised our kids get way too much and give too little.  Even by sticking to our four presents above, once the kids receive gifts from grandparents and aunties and uncles they get way more than they need.  With this in mind, my children live in a family where there is nothing they ever really need.  They have clean water, food, a roof over their head, access to health and good education.  But at this time of year in particular we think of those who really are in need.

We started by showing the kids the Unicef website.

Oh boy were there lots of lessons to be learnt here.

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  1.  Needs Vs Wants. We had a long talk about what “needs” really are.  What do you need to survive.  Water, Food, Good Health, Shelter, Clothes, Love. They quickly realised that all their “needs” have been filled since the day they were born.   We spoke about when we say we “need” something often it is really a want.  We then discussed, how and why many children around the world don’t have their needs met. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 5.40.15 AM2. Their Is A Big World Out There but you can be the change.  Sometimes kids get caught up in their day to day life (as do we) and forget to think about the world greater than them.  We looked at a world map and spoke about countries that may be in need.  Yep the world is a BIG BIG BIG place.  But that doesnt mean we (even kids) can not make a difference. This was easy to relate to for them, as many family members and friends had already spoken to them about the work they do in East Timor, Afghanistan, India and Cambodia.  Their Dad had some great pictures to show them of him delivering medical supplies and medical assistance to very malnourished and sick children. They have seen these photos before, but suddenly it had a context.  The world is a big place but we can do little things to make a difference.  

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 5.38.41 AM3. The Golden Rule.  We talk a lot about the golden rule in our family.  Treat others as you wish to be treated.  How would they feel if they were in need?  What would they want people to do for them? The list is endless and I had to keep bringing them back to “Needs”  We would love to send our drink bottles to them, but if they dont have clean water to fill them with, they will not be very helpful.   

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4. Better To Give Than to Receive.  We imagined what it would be like if you went without something and then suddenly someone presented it to you.  How would they feel?  Imagine if you could to do that for someone? You could trade just one present you will receive for a present you could give.  Now it’s really making sense.  This not just a lesson to be learnt, a discussion to be had, but there is something we can DO!!!

We are back on the UNICEF WEBSITE choosing our present to GIVE.


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 You can choose a gift based on the amount of money you want to spend, or like my kids something they thought would be really useful! 

 This is by far the greatest lesson to be learnt during the festive season.  It is something I can only hope has not only been learnt by my children, but sunk in and remembered for years to come.  It is so easy to get caught up in the world of want, want, want, buy, buy, buy at Christmas.  But it is the perfect time to remind them to…..

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If you would like to work through this activity with your children, we have included a template below.  

Want, Need, Wear, Read Template