Christmas was my favourite time of year when I was younger, but as I got older I found myself turning into Ebenezer Scrooge. Each year, I seemed to get more cynical about the all of the excess that surrounded the holiday season. I would see all the packaging and glittery paper in the shops and worry about the damage it was causing the environment. I would watch my dad stuffing the 5th turkey sandwich in his mouth and worry about the damage it was causing his health, and I would watch my children rip open countless gifts with barely a ‘thank you’ before they moved onto the next. It was all getting too much and last year we decided as a family to strip it all back to basics – love, gratitude, connection.
I want my children to be grateful. I want them to show empathy for others, and above all I want them to be kind. This just didn’t seem to be congruent with the kind of lifestyle we were leading.
I don’t think I’m alone. I think if you ask most parents what traits they would like their children to develop, gratitude, kindness and empathy would be near the top of the list. But how can we help them to develop these traits? Once they’ve stepped out the front door, we can’t control what messages they’re bombarded with. So we just need to give them tools they need to navigate their world and make the best possible choices.
If we want our children to be kind, generous and have empathy for those around them, we need to lead by example. And Christmas is the perfect place to start.
Ultimately, Christmas is all about kindness - kindness to our friends, our family and to any other human being we have the ability to reach through our actions. If we can all live by this premise and display that to our children then the season can once again be the most magical time of the year, for everyone.
Find out more about the kindness people have be spreading around the Globe through The Kindness Project.
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