Christmas time is a great opportunity that our culture gives us to teach our children to give. Unfortunately, the commercialisation of this celebration only enhances the sinful nature of each of us and encourages us to look at what we are going to ‘get’. This is not a Christ-like attitude, and hardly respecting the occasion of celebrating Christ’s birth – a gift to us from God.
We can cut across these attitudes though and teach our children that gift giving is all about the consideration of the other person.
- Giving to the family – our family is the first and most central relationships our children have. The family is the training ground for every other relationship; therefore, this is a great place to start thinking about blessing another person. Let each child be involved in some way in giving a gift this Christmas to someone in their family.
- Giving to the Church family – for our family this means giving Time. We give time to make our Christian family’s events successful: nativity play, community carols, charity runs etc. Choose what your family is going to be involved in, explain this gift of time to your children, and make time to serve with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Giving to friends – friends are an important part of family life. We tend to either bake or make a decoration to give to our friends. Making gifts like this gives us, as a family, an opportunity to be together, to talk, to laugh and make memories while we prepare to bless others. We have then had some special times as we make time to visit with our friends in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
- Giving to the community – there are many opportunities for the children to give either their time or food goods to the needy in town. See what the Salvation Army or similar organisations, are doing in your town.
- Giving to God – God’s greatest desire is to have our hearts. As we prepare presents for family and friends, as we set aside time to serve in the community conversation can easily be directed to the gift of our hearts that would make God our Father so happy!
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The adage, “It’s the thought that counts” has some significance but thoughts without actions are not going to touch people’s hearts. Planning a gift that will bring joy to someone’s life is what this is all about. I encourage you to sit down with your children, talk about thinking of the other person and finding ways that will make them happy, and brainstorm ways to make these ideas come about in your family.
Do your kids give gifts to each other?
This is something that we feel has had significant impact on our family – and our kids say the same. I share my thoughts about this on this video.
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