How We Teach Generosity & Kindness With Santa Sacks

Every year we do a family activity advent calendar. It’s filled with our family traditions like drinking hot cocoa, watching a Christmas movie, driving around to look at the Christmas lights, sledding, making blank Thank You Cards (to fill out the day after Christmas for everyone), paper snowflakes, and so many other things. We actually have 30 activity cards that I rotate around. Some are every year cards and some are ones I switch. I stick the laminated cards in little pockets on a board I made a few years ago. Just a tip — before we had this board, we used 25 mini stockings from the dollar store and strung them on rope to hang them like garland. So, of all these, what’s my favorite activity? Santa Sacks.


What are Santa Sacks?

We have the kids go through their toys and donate some of them. We tell them that Santa will give them to other kids. We don’t have a “sack” per se, we use whatever we have around.  A box, a laundry basket that has been used more than one year, or like this year a hamper we use for toys in their rooms.

Teaching Generosity & Kindness

What this does is teach our children the importance of giving to others and at the SAME time it gets rid of toys before Christmas! My mother calls my husband and I the “ANTI-HOARDERS”. We are not minimalist (I don’t think) but we do have empty cabinets in the kitchen and fully believe that less stuff = less mess and less things to think about. Ok, maybe we are bit minimalistic. But really, getting rid of toys before Christmas just makes sense to me. Why add to the mess? Believe me though, my kids are NOT lacking in toys!


How Many Toys?

We never MAKE them get rid of anything. We just encourage them. At the same time, we don’t MAKE them keep anything. If it was something special and they want to share it with another child we let them. Some toys go right to the thrift store, while more special items we will gift people we know. But it ALL goes. We don’t set a number on it, but I often find my kids will FILL the basket!

I’ve had people question whether it’s wasteful or teaches my kids that everything is replaceable. In my experience, it does not. I don’t believe it’s wasteful because we are donating them, not throwing them away, and my kids get really excited at the thought of giving their toys to other kids.

They really believe that kids will open presents on Christmas morning to find their presents fixed and cleaned up by Santa. I have to say I don’t think they are wrong. We go thrifting a lot and every year there is more than one present under our tree that someone donated to a thrift store. 🙂

What do you think? Would you ever try a Santa Sack?