By David Wade, WBZ-TVBy David Wade

NEEDHAM (CBS) – The holidays can be magical for kids, but they can also be distorted.

What’s really important – the lights, the shopping, the gifts, or something else?

Katie from Gardner Declared her Curiosity asking:

“How can I get my kids to appreciate how lucky they really are this holiday season?”

We learned how one family is doing that and how you can, too.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports.

“We’re going to give presents away so homeless people can have birthdays,” says 7-year-old Chloe Glazer of Needham.

She’s giving up one of her Hanukkah gifts and so are her two younger brothers.

It’s part of an event called “Fifth Night” that her parents, Rachel and Robert Glazer helped start last year.

On Sunday, December 5th, about a hundred kids will donate the gift they would have received on the fifth night of Hanukkah.

The presents will go to “Birthday Wishes,” an organization that throws birthday parties for homeless children all year long.

“I wanted them to feel what it felt like to give a present to someone who wasn’t going to be able to get one,” says Chloe’s mom, Rachel Glazer.

“In today’s society, they learn that what they have is not what people have everywhere. And it’s hard for them to see that sometimes,” says Robert Glazer.

Just donating that one toy or doing some other act of charity can really teach a kid one of the higher meanings of the holiday season.

And that lesson will last.

“These are things they will take with them as they get older,” says Karley Ausiello of the United Way of Mass. Bay.

She says you don’t have to make a huge commitment to have an effect.

“Go to a nursing home in your area and drop off holiday cards for them. Go to a food pantry once and drop off some food. Maybe use some of their own allowance money to have them actually feel they’re a part of it,” says Ausiello.

Perhaps you’re thinking, I’d like to get my family involved, but I don’t know where to go.

Here’s a resource where you can enter your zip code and find a ton of volunteer opportunities close to home:

You can learn about volunteering as a family here:

David Wade

Comments (3)
  1. taxedout says:

    Oh that’s right it Is the holiday season, not Christmas anymore….Teach them the value of getting up early to Shop!!!

  2. Italo says:

    I think it’s wrong the way the question is phrased. Because some kids really aren’t lucky, ones whose families are losing their homes, or lost their parents, or are abused or terminally ill.. What should be important is to teach our kids to understand what the spirit of the holidays are and to practice it to others around them all yearround. Our parents taught us to try to be a little like Christmas everyday, and not save the niceties and goodwill for one day in the last week of December. I think this’d be a big step towards kids understanding it, understanding that by giving and giving back, it all comes around.

  3. katie, Gardner says:

    I agree w/ the christmas thing but there are alot of other religions around and not everyone entails the word christmas. As far as familys not being lucky – I agree some are out of luck completely. My husband has been out of work for 4yrs and I volunteer at the local hospital. I wanted to teach my kids that there won’t be alot of presents under the tree but they are still very lucky to have what allot of other people don’t

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