Frank Manners: Holiday Edition

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December 1, 2010

During this time of year, storefront windows and holiday advertisements encourage parents and children alike to obsess about their wish-list for Santa. Yet more families, especially with the economy as it is, are finding that the holiday spending spree is becoming less fulfilling. Especially for families transitioning through divorce, the holidays are a great time to craft new traditions. As your family changes, so can your traditions. This holiday season, revise stale holiday traditions to get closer to the true spirit of the holidays: generosity.

Take the spirit of giving a step further than just tossing a few coins into a Salvation Army bucket on your way into a shopping center. Volunteering with a local charity is a great way to teach children generosity and kindness by example and brighten up the holidays for others in your community.

Show children that the holidays have a greater significance than counting how many presents one receives. Take your children caroling at a local nursing home or to a soup kitchen to serve a meal. Getting out of the house and shaking up your holiday routine can also be a great way to take your children’s minds off of the other parent’s absence. At a time when you and your children may be feeling stress or grief, helping those less fortunate will surely give your family a new perspective on your own situation.

The internet can be a great way to find worthy local charities. Call ahead to make sure that there will be enough volunteer spots open for your family. Make plans well in advance to ensure that the holidays don’t catch you by surprise. This year, meet the holiday season head-on in the spirit of charity and good will.