4 Reasons to Teach Your Child to Give this Christmas

By Michelle Connell, CFA | 2 min read

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

As Christmas quickly approaches and you’re purchasing final gifts for your children and loved ones, have you stopped to consider the gift of giving? 

Research reveals that for children, receiving too many gifts increases destructive behavior, lowers self-esteem and robs them of lasting happiness. A study published in Harvard’s Journal of Happiness found that people actually found more value in giving than receiving. And when asked to complete a personal satisfaction scale, “givers” scored higher than those purchasing gifts for themselves. 

True happiness comes from giving, not receiving or hoarding up material possessions for yourself. In fact, studies have shown that less than 10 percent of our happiness is related to possessions of money, which enables the accumulation of things

No matter how old or young, there is never a wrong time to begin teaching your child to give to others. By encouraging your child to do so, you are building positive characteristics in your child. Teaching children to give:

  1. Instills empathy. 
  2. Produces gratitude.
  3. Encourages your child to develop their passion.
  4. Builds a foundation for lasting happiness.

Here are a few ideas for how you and your child can give to another child less fortunate this Christmas season.

  • Donate a new, unwrapped toy to a U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots location. These toys will then be distributed to children in your community.
  • Purchase gifts through the Make-a-Wish store, and a portion of proceeds will go directly to the Make-a-Wish foundation.
  • Find an Angel Tree location near you and pick a child to sponsor this Christmas. The Angel Tree charity helps children who have at least one parent in prison. 
  • Select a local charity that supports children in your area and donate money to support the charity’s mission, or new toys as gifts for the children they serve.

However you choose to give back this Christmas, be sure to include your child in the process of selecting the charity and purchasing a gift to give.

This Christmas, I challenge you to consider giving your child the gift of giving to a child less fortunate. Fostering generosity in children boosts personal happiness and increases empathy. Encouraging children to give to others builds a stronger sense of community. In a world that is so divided on so many issues, what better gift could we give our children?

Happy Holidays to you and your family from Portia Capital Management. Wishing you a successful and joyful New Year!

About the Author

Michelle Connell, CFA is the President and Owner of Portia Capital Management, LLC and one of the highest-rated finance professors in the United States, currently serving as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas. Ms. Connell works with her students and private clients to understand the value of crafting a portfolio that includes conventional products as well as alternative assets, including private equity, private debt and real estate, and allows investment portfolio creation with greater downside protection and more consistent returns. 

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