Friday, November 9, 2012

Teaching kids to give at Christmas

Welcome to Family Fridays. With the holidays right around the corner comes the tough question of what do we give our kids for Christmas this year? Christmas is a fun time of year filled with snow, cookies, lights, and a lot of great family memories. But sometimes we can make it stressful with trying so hard to pick out the perfect gifts for our children that it can teach them the wrong thing about Christmas.

Last year we tried to change this attitude a little. We still probably went a little over board with presents. Decorations, hot cocoa, lights, and songs were also still a part of the festivities. However this year we wanted to do something for other people and have our kids help.

We had our daughter Abbey, who was 4 at the time, go through her toys and pull out toys that she didn't want anymore. We were able to then take these toys and donate them to a local child care center that was in need of them. This helped not only make room but gave us a chance to teach her that other kids don't have as much as we might have.

On Christmas Eve we went together with some friends to make 3 trays of cookies. We took these cookies along with some coloring books and crayons our youth ministry had collected over to the local hospital's children's wing. The coloring books and crayons were able to bless the kids that were staying in the hospital over Christmas or would come shortly after. And the cookies were given to the nurses that were working on Christmas Eve, 1 tray for each shift. These nurses were away from their own families on the holiday so they could serve little kids who were sick.

Not only did both of these things give us a chance to think beyond ourselves, which is a part of the real meaning of Christmas. God thought beyond Himself and thought of us when He sent the very first Christmas gift to Earth, baby Jesus. But it gave us some great memories and good conversations with Abbey.

This year Abbey was so excited to go through her toys and already had hopes to send them to a different country this year. The lessons we taught her last year sunk in and that makes it worth it.

Does your family have any giving to others traditions? How do you teach your kids to give to others at Christmas or throughout the year?

Have a fabulous weekend with your family!

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