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Helping our families shed the materialism of Christmas!

This holiday season, North Americans will spend a trillion on retail .   Parents can find themselves struggling to shift their children away from materialism toward understanding the true meaning of Christmas.  The holidays are a perfect time to teach your child that happiness comes from inside of us, not from our stuff.  Here are three activities you can do with your children to keep the focus where it belongs:

1.  The Gratitude Game! Start a family gratitude ritual every night after dinner.  Talk about all the things you’re grateful for that day: your lifestyle, your successes, your health etc.  Keep score and see who can come up with the longest list of what their grateful for.  Extra points for writing thank-you notes!
2.  The great gifts game! The best gifts are when we give of our skill or time.  Help your child focus on all the different ways they can give. Like singing a song, walking a dog, or making get well cards. Its doesn't have to be money or things. Help your child come up with creative ideas for giving: a craft, a book of coupons that they created for things they’ll do for someone, an event they put on.  See who in the family can give the most gifts that truly required that person to give of themselves!
3.  One gift for the world!  As a family, find at least one community activity that you can do that gives back to others in need.  It can be visiting a senior’s home, shoveling walks, helping out with a food drive etc.   This will boost your child’s self-confidence and also help them realize how well off they are!  Celebrate your success afterwards to reinforce the lesson. 


Climbing Kilimanjaro for African Kids

Small Shifts' author Fiona Fox, age 10, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro this February to raise money for African kids.  Joined by her co-authors Rae Fox & Mom Teresa de Grosbois.  Watch our Press section for updates.  To donate visit www.firstgiving.com/FionaFox