As the Christmas season rapidly approaches, we all know just how easy it can be to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and lose focus of what really matters.
For kids, the focus at Christmas is more about getting than it is giving. And I mean, who can really blame them. Between the Elf on the Shelf, and making lists for Santa, we as a society give thanks for all we have on one day, and spend the next 30 days talking about everything that we want.
It’s a dilemma that Encinitas, California mom, Erin Weidemann found herself in a few years back with her daughter, Rooney.
Born out of the desire to “flip the focus” from opening presents to opening hearts, Erin launched a new Christmas tradition called the SANTA Switch.
See A Need, Take Action
SANTA stands for “See A Need, Take Action,” and it has radically transformed the way the Weidemann’s do Christmas.
The initiative is simple: Encourage children to notice the needs of others, and empower them to meet those needs.
Start by identifying a need—a homeless man on the street, a neighbor who needs their driveway shoveled, a friend sitting alone at school—and take action. Share a meal with that homeless man, shovel the neighbor’s driveway, join the lonely kid at lunch.
It’s stuff that we teach our kids all year long, but there’s something about the Christmas season that puts an emphasis on caring for others.
Erin recommends grabbing a journal and documenting the needs your family sees, and the ways each member worked to meet those needs. It’s a tangible way to see your family’s actions at work, and a beautiful reminder of the gift that is serving others.
The SANTA Switch is the gift that truly keeps on giving all year long. When we teach our kids to see the needs of others, and empower them to know that they too can make a difference, the results are nothing short of life-changing.
Hear all about the experience from Erin herself in her podcast below!
Share your SANTA Switch moments and spread the love this holiday season with the hashtags #SANTASwitch and #SeeANeedTakeAction.