"'Tis better to give than to receive" - Teaching Your Kids About Generosity
"What do you want for Christmas?" is a very common question these last few days before Christmas, and one that is frequently asked of all of my kids.
"What is Santa gonna bring you this year?"
"What did you put on your wish list?"
Now, you can bet my kiddos have made it very clear to me what they want - they've marked up many a toy book and advertisement - however, they know that Christmas is more about giving than receiving. And they have displayed many gestures confirming for me that they really get it.
There are some fun ways that we, as a family, have displayed generosity at Christmas-time. Here are just a few that you may want to try this year, along with us :
Adopt a family
Every year we seek out a family in need and purchase gifts for each of the children from their very own wish lists. As we shop for items on the list, I can see my children's excitement. Excitement created by knowing the simple fact that these items will bring a smile to children's faces. Children their very own age. Children who may not have received any gifts otherwise.
Visit a retirement home
Children have such a sweet way of bringing joy to even the crabbiest elderly person. Especially at Christmas time. Dress your kiddos in their Sunday best, tie bows in their hair and pin them to their shirts, give them each a bell, and bring joy to those who may not see much this season. (Be sure you make arrangements with the home, as you will need to be aware of the most appropriate time to visit.)
Bring your neigbors some homemade goodies
Last year the kids and I made fudge and peppermint bark, and brought some homemade candy to each of our neighbors. This year we've made more than just fudge, we also made dozens of cookies and even some peanut brittle. This is a nice neghborly gesture and one that certainly spreads some holiday cheer!
Remind your kiddos to think of each other
I don't know about you, but I certainly have spent more time in Walmart and Target this month than any other time of the year, most often with all of my kiddos. It's very easy for each of them to catch a bad case of the gimmes, especially with the constant commercial reminder to think about what they want. I've made it a point, whenever one of my kiddos asks for something while we're shopping (which seems like it's every 30 seconds), to instead remind them to think about what they may want to give to one of their siblings as a gift. This simple act tends to bring the focus off of themselves and on to each other. Just be careful, though, they may start asking each other for everything they see!
A generous man will himself be blessed. -Proverbs 22:9