As parents, one of the things we try to teach our children is that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Admittedly, that’s a hard lesson to communicate at Christmastime when big-budget marketing campaigns are built on making kids desire more things for themselves.
Christmas, I believe, was intended to be a time of giving, not getting as much stuff as you can. I love watching the looks of delight on my children’s faces when they open their gifts Christmas morning, but I feel a much deeper satisfaction when I see them reach out in a sincere desire to give to others too.
Here are some things to remember when helping your children discover the joy of giving.
Giving from the heart should be somewhat sacrificial. It is more impactful if a child puts effort of their own into a gift.
Giving should be meaningful to the giver. Let your child choose who he or she wants to bless by giving to this year. Your role can be to make your child aware of the options and of needs they may not have considered.
Giving doesn’t have to hurt. Don’t ask you child to give his or her favorite toy away to someone else in need, or to forego getting Christmas gifts of their own in order to give to someone else. That fosters a feeling of resentment, not a spirit of giving.
Giving is a way of life. Once you’ve discovered the joy of giving at Christmastime, how can your family incorporate giving into your regular lifestyle? Ask your children for ideas. Now that you’ve sparked their creativity, you may be surprised at what they’ve been thinking!