Holiday Gift-Giving Verse

Little boy reading a book about animals
Child reading a book about animals
Child looking at the cover of a book about orangutans
Child reading about animals

As we embark on the journey through the holiday season, we often find ourselves swept up in the whirlwind of festivities, shopping lists, and the quest for the perfect gifts. It’s a time of year that brims with joy, warmth, and the spirit of giving. But amidst the cheerful chaos, let’s take a moment to reflect on a unique twist to the traditional holiday gift-giving verse. The one that has found its way into our family’s cherished traditions.

You’ve probably come across the familiar lines:

  • Something you want
  • Something you need
  • Something to give
  • Something to read

Yet, in our household, we’ve made a small alteration to these lines. One that speaks to the essence of what the holiday season truly means to us. Instead of “Something to wear,” we have chosen to replace it with “Something to give.” Allow me to share with you the heartwarming story behind this modification.

In a world where consumerism often takes center stage during the holidays, it can be easy to get swept up in the frenzy of buying, accumulating, and filling our homes with more “stuff.” But in our home, we’ve consciously chosen to shift the focus away from material possessions. We place it squarely on the act of giving.

As we approach the holiday season, our children enthusiastically leaf through a diverse collection of charitable pamphlets. These pamphlets come from a variety of organizations, from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to Greenpeace, Oxfam, and even local charities and hospitals. The kids are encouraged to explore these pamphlets and connect with the causes that resonate most deeply with them.

The magic happens when each child selects a charity that speaks to their hearts. It’s a moment of genuine connection with the world beyond our own. A chance for our children to learn about the broader community they are a part of. And to embrace the beauty of compassion and altruism.

Oxfam Unwrapped program, in particular, holds a special place in our holiday tradition. This program allows our younger children to see photographs of cows, flocks of chickens, or other meaningful gifts that will be sent to families in need. It brings the concept of giving to life, making it tangible and relatable for our little ones.

This gesture of giving isn’t just about financial contributions. It’s about instilling in our children the importance of empathy, kindness, and the joy of making a positive impact in the lives of others. It’s a lesson that extends far beyond the holiday season. One that we hope will shape their character and values for years to come.

So, as we gather around the fireplace, share stories, and exchange gifts, we hold close to our hearts the knowledge that the true spirit of Christmas resides in the act of giving. In our own small way, we’ve found a unique and meaningful path to celebrate the season. We hope that our tradition of “Something to give” may inspire you to embrace the heart of giving as well.

As the holiday season approaches, may we all find joy in the warmth of togetherness and the beauty of sharing. Knowing that it’s the love and compassion we extend to one another that truly makes this time of year so special.

Meagan Wilson is a parent educator and author of the now-retired seasonal series of Whole Family Rhythms. After finishing a BA, she went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College, as well as her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has received her certification as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach and has supported hundreds of parents to create a strong family rhythm unique to their own values and culture. She has four young children. Meagan provides resources, support and information to parents who are looking for a bridge to cross between their unique family life and their children’s (often but not always) Waldorf schools.


  1. katie on November 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Meagan, this is a lovely idea. I think I’ll have to steal it and use it with my family.. I remember back last Christmas you did a post about what family traditions you do in the lead up to Christmas. I’m wanting to start my own family advent traditions, but i couldn’t find your post to refer to it.. anything special your happy to share again would be wonderful.

  2. Meagan on November 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Thanks Katie,

    I am working on an advent post right now… just need to get it in action. xo m.

  3. talik on November 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Meagan, any updates on the advent post? xx

  4. Meagan on November 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Talik, There is the advent post here:

    But this year I won’t really have any changes or updates as we are preparing for a move overseas that falls right at the end of the holidays. This year I am replying totally on our usual traditions and not adding anything new to the mix. Keeping it very simple. Much love. Meagan.

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