A Holiday Season of Giving (not Getting) for Kids: generationOn

Every year, my family sets aside one night of Hannukah for giving instead of getting.We give the kids some money to donate the the charity of their choice.  It isn’t much, but it’s at least a moment during the consumer consumption, frenzy that is the Holiday Season, when they have to think about what someone else needs, rather than what they want.

Reader Advisory: If you’re going to be bothered about me bragging about my kid, skip the next few sentences!

This year, my daughter informed me, she doesn’t want any nights of getting – just eight nights of giving.

Can I have an awwww?

Ok, so she probably doesn’t really mean it.  If we really didn’t get her any gifts, I’m sure she’d be plenty upset. But I’m proud of her for having that thought.  I’m proud of my husband and me for planting the seed that turned into that thought. Since this is a post about Hannukah: I’m kvelling.

I don’t expect every kid to feel that way.  (she does have, ahem, a brother) But wouldn’t it be nice to try? Wouldn’t you like to find a way to remind your kids (and yourself) that getting stuff isn’t all there is? Wouldn’t it be great to figure out a meaningful way to give instead of get?

I’ve found a way: generationOn.

For the second year in a row, generationOn and Hasbro are making it easy for your child to give back, learn something, and help make the holidays a little bit brighter for a child in need through the generationOn Holiday Gift Campaign. From now through December 13, every time a child or teen takes the pledge to volunteer at www.generationOn.org, Hasbro will donate a toy through Toys for Tots. They’ve pledged to donate up to 100,000 toys, and wouldn’t it be fabulous if that many kids and teens pledged to volunteer?

Look, I know the holiday season is busy. You have shopping to do. Lists to make. Meals to cook. Long lost relatives to buy gifts for.  But it can also a time to help children learn that sometimes giving….well, it kind of ends up feeling like you’re getting something.

Research shows that the types of gifts children give to others help shape their identities throughout adolescence. For example, family projects that involve giving to those in need can teach kids compassion and empathy in a truly meaningful way.

Motivating kids to give back through volunteering doesn’t have to be a big deal.  Start off with something simple that has the potential to plant that seed of service and volunteering that will grow with them into adulthood. The generationOn Holiday Gift Campaign provides kids and teens with lots of ideas for easy and fun ways to make a big difference in the lives of others and to understand the true spirit of the holidays.

The more kids and teens that take action, the more toys will be donated to those in need.

So go, take action. And whatever you’re celebrating this year, I hope you have a Holiday filled with all kinds of gifts.


  1. says

    Nancy, I am in awe of your daughter and of you for raising such a generous child. My kids would never do that but they are younger and I have time to turn it around.

    • says

      Well, she didn’t actually forgo anything yet! But I’m kind of in awe of her, too. Thanks for the kind words. And I’m sure that with you as a Mom, your kids will grow up lovely, generous and kind.

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