web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


How To Give The Gift Of Giving

Baim-111513-Bag

Another holiday season will soon be upon us, and we can expect the onslaught of advertisements from both Jewish and non-Jewish stores, bombarding us with much needed advice on just which perfect gift you must purchase for your loved ones.  I know quite a few grandmothers who have been gift shopping for months.

There is, however, one thing we should pause to consider. We are all aware that giving gifts for Chanukah is not actually a Jewish custom, right?  Jews give Chanukah gelt, which is money, not presents, as a reward for learning Torah. So why are all the Jewish mommies lining up to buy everyone and anyone just the perfect thing to say “I Love You,” or “Thank You,” or “Best Boss Ever”?

Listen, I know all about it.  It’s hard to fight the Western culture that has indoctrinated the habit of gift giving even amongst those of us who know better. Truthfully, even I have fallen into the non-admirable habit of giving small gifts to my children every night of Chanukah. We’ve created this tradition of lighting the menorah, singing our songs, and then bringing out the grab bag. My kids gather around, stick their hands in and pull out some shiny and wrapped thing-a-ma-jig. It’s fun for everyone, but I gotta admit, it’s not that different from gathering around the great big tree and ripping open wrapped presents with your name on it.Baim-111513-Serving

There has to be a better way, and this year, with the rare occasion of Chanukah coinciding with Thanksgiving, the season of giving thanks and appreciating all the bounty we have been granted, gives us just the opportunity to learn a different type of lesson from the culture that surrounds us.

Perhaps we can teach our children to give, instead of take. This trait of giving to others will not just avoid turning them into spoiled brats, but will also teach them how to become contributing members of the community, something we all want for our children.

Here’s a few ideas to help teach your children to give to others:

Encourage them to give some of their Chanukah gelt to the tzedekah of their choice, even, and perhaps especially, their school as an acknowledgement of how much the administration and teachers do for them. If the traditional tithe of ten percent is too much for them to give away, allow them to choose how much they are willing to donate.

Let them choose one or more of their gifts to give to children in need. There are many organizations that collect new or gently used toys for needy children and a quick Google search will give you a whole list of options you and your child can choose from.

Instead of gift giving every night, perhaps the family can do an activity that involves some type of chesed, such as helping pack boxes for Tomchei Shabbos or visiting a relative.

Because it is always fun to receive some type of gift, children and parents can give each other hand-made cards detailing some type of favor they will do for each other for a specified amount of time. For example, a husband can offer to take care of the baby overnight (a gift worth its weight in gold!) or children can offer to do each other’s chores for a week. Mommy can offer to make a child’s favorite brownies, or promise a trip to the library, just the two of them. Children can offer to let Mommy and Daddy sleep in on Shabbos morning, and an older child can offer to make dinner for the family. The options are endless, so let your kids get creative. These “gift-cards” do not need to be limited to immediate family members. A niece can offer to babysit her cousins, and nephews can offer to blow the leaves out of the yards or shovel snow as needed.  Decorate the cards with glitter and stickers, and I promise those cards will be treasured for longer than the typical scarf or talking teddy bear.

By teaching our children to appreciate what they have and what they can give to others in more than just a materialistic way, they will have the tools to grow into sensitive, caring, successful adults.

About the Author: Pnina Baim holds a B.S. in Health and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and an MS.edu from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Program. She works as a nutritionist, a certified lactation consultant, a home organizer, and in her free time writes as much as possible. She is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Give The Gift Of Giving”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
obamatargetiran-275x167
Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-032015

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

Baim-022015

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-give-the-gift-of-giving/2013/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: