We all want our children to be happy and feel loved, but it can often be overwhelming for parents to see their kids inundated with presents and treats from generous family members, friends and teachers, and then there’s that Santa sack on top if it!
In order to balance the receiving with some giving, many families are now turning to socially conscious gifts and are using Christmas as an opportunity to educate their kids about people in the developing world who are much less fortunate.
CARE Australia is just one humanitarian organisation that is seeing a steady increase in the number of parents who are donating to its CAREgifts campaign around Christmas time. Many are using it as a tool to educate their children about how lucky they are to live in a safe country where they’re able to go to school, have a roof over their head and enjoy Christmas Day with their family.
“It’s a sad truth that millions of kids will never experience the joy of unwrapping a gift on Christmas Day,” explains Isadora Quay, CARE Australia’s Gender in Emergencies Specialist. “Many are lucky to eat a proper meal, have clean water to drink or even have a bed to sleep in.”
It makes you stop and think: what if Aussie kids asked for just one socially conscious gift as part of their Santa wish-lists this year? Would our world be a happier, safer and fairer place? Of course it would!
It’s natural for children to want to share and be kind to others, and it’s our responsibility to foster these natural instincts. Falling victim to the commercial nature of the festive season is too easy, but we have a responsibility to teach children — and to remind ourselves — that giving is better than receiving. And what better way to celebrate the festive season than by supporting other parents to ensure their kids grow up healthy and happy?
“When it comes to poverty, women and girls are the most affected,” explains Ms Quay. “More girls than boys can’t go to school, more women than men are unable to work, and women die needlessly during pregnancy and childbirth every minute of the day.
“Worldwide, there are millions of women and children who can’t access vital health services, get an education, earn an income or join community decision making – and it’s up to each of us to do our part.”
CARE’s online Christmas gift range, CAREgifts, exists to improve the lives of women, girls and their communities. For as little as $10, families can give school books, ducklings, a piglet or even send a girl to school this Christmas and make a real difference to the lives of those less fortunate.
Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. Let’s all take on the challenge of spreading the Christmas joy a little further than just the high street this year and instil a sense of festive spirit in Aussie kids that goes beyond the commercialisation of gifts.