Every December, since the first grade, my mother and I would put pennies into rolls, and cash them at the bank. I would take the money and buy Christmas gifts for my family. This taught me the value of money and the gift of giving.
I would get excited when my parents took me to the store to purchase gifts for my family. The feeling I got when my family opened the gifts I purchased was indescribable.
In the article, “The Neuroscience of Giving,” by Dr. Eva Ritvo, she says giving boosts “neurochemical drivers of happiness.” These drivers are dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
Dopamine affects emotions, motivation, and the experience of pleasure. Normal levels of serotonin can promote feelings of comfort, happiness, and well-being. Oxytocin naturally increases self-esteem, trust, and the bonding experience.
So, you see why my feelings as a child were indescribable during Christmas?
Let’s encourage our students/children to give this holiday so they can “GET THE FEELING”.
Giving does not have to come in gifts. Below are other ways to give…
- Gift of Time – being present with those you love and/or like
- Gift of Touch-giving someone a hug
- Gift of Labor-volunteering to help others
- Gift of Friendship- being there for your friend
- Gift of Art-creating something and giving it away
- Gift of Teaching- to show or explain something new to others
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