Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giving Back at Christmas

How do we teach our kids this important lesson?

Jesus came down into the world as love. The mission at Christmas is not to fill our shopping carts with “things” to bring temporary happiness, but to celebrate the One who inspires us to live a Godly life and give back.

Each year at Christmas we aim to promote a global sense of ways to celebrate Christian giving and love. This year we filled an Operation Christmas Child box. While we’ve done this in the past, it felt particularly fitting this year because our three and five year old wanted to get a box and pick out the items for it.

They are into a princess phase in life. Gigi, God’s Little Princess by Sheila Walsh is a fixture series in our home that celebrates each girl as a daughter of the King. This year, they wanted to let a little girl in an unknown place know that she too was a princess, made by and special to the King.

So, we went to the store and they picked out all things princess to celebrate a young girl and bring her joy.

Although the gesture was simple in nature, it created for big, important conversation. They understood – long before getting to open gifts of their own – that they were picking one box that would bring a little girl extreme joy because she didn’t have a family able to purchase gifts. This put the ability to get packages themselves into some perspective and helped them realize how lucky they were, all the while celebrating the importance and joy found in giving.

Jesus is the reason for Christmas. We must keep this in focus as we go about asking “what do you want?” to our little ones. Gifts are great and fun and we love to do them, but we want them to know it isn’t just about us.

Our family aims to continue growing and celebrating Godly love at Christmas. How do you do this? I loved this advent giving calendar idea and there is so much more that we haven’t thought of – from the simple to the complex.

I’m thankful for a God who meets us as a baby, love us, and inspires us to grow and give out of love for Him. That is Christmas spirit poured out for all to see.

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