As the holidays approach, most kids’ thoughts turn to gifts. Visions of beautifully-wrapped packages stacked high fill the dreams of many children. What will be in those packages? Will you get everything you put on your wish list?

Receiving gifts is something everyone enjoys. But did you know that many people enjoy giving gifts even more than receiving them? It’s true. You may have heard people say from time to time, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Could this be true? Unwrapping the gift you’ve been wanting for months and months is so exciting. How could anything get better than that?

Maybe you already know what we’re talking about. Have you ever worked really hard on a priceless work of art for a loved one? When you were finished with it, you were probably very excited to give it to them.

Waiting until their birthday or a special occasion can sometimes seem like torture when you just can’t wait to give someone a special homemade gift right from your heart. Do you remember that feeling of anticipation you get as they’re opening their present?

If you’ve ever felt like that, then you know it’s true: it really is better to give than to receive. There’s just a simple joy from giving freely of your time and talents to loved ones.

This old saying has ancient roots in many religions, but actually scientists are looking for biological evidence for why it’s better to give than receive. For example, some scientists believe that giving to or helping others helps to relieve stress in the body and is therefore beneficial to your health.

From your own personal experience, you probably know how good it feels to do a good deed for someone. Helping others allows you to capture that great feeling by putting others first. You might capture that feeling by volunteering your services for a worthy cause. Another popular way to give is to randomly help others by paying it forward.

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Set sail with Wonderopolis tomorrow as we cruise down the river!