Too often, kids have the “gimme’s” at Christmas time. It’s all about what they want. What are some ways you can change the focus from getting to giving . . . . Christmas gift giving?
As my kids were growing up, there are 3 things we did to help change their focus to giving. I hope at least one of these ideas might encourage you this Christmas season.
Family Gift Giving
Each year I allowed my kids to write a list of a few items they would like to receive. After making that list, we focused on giving. Here’s how I did it.
When my kids were quite young, I gave them a ziploc with money ($10 for each person in the family). We discussed each person in the family & they made choices about what they wanted to GIVE others. I took each child shopping by themselves. We looked for the special gift for each of their siblings, as well as Steve. If they saved a dollar one one gift, they had an extra dollar for another gift. When we returned home, they chose special paper for each gift they wrapped & placed under our Christmas tree.
Steve took all the kids shopping at one time to buy my gift. They each had their ziploc of money for this shopping excursion.
As they grew older, they earned money on their own. It was up to them to budget the amount of money for each of their family gifts.
I loved this idea because each child had a chance to list items they wanted, but the focus was on giving to their siblings & parents.
Missionary Family Giving
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we chose a missionary family each year to buy gifts for their kids. I asked the mom what their kids needed or wanted. One year it was dress up clothes; another year it was computer software; another year it was family games.
We started this activity back in October/ November, as I contacted the mom & our kids took orders for pumpkin bread & chocolate chip cookies. My kids baked the week of Thanksgiving, as well as a week in December. They took orders & delivered the baked goods, collecting money at delivery.
After collecting all their money, they paid me for the ingredients. Whatever was leftover was their profit. This was used to buy the Christmas gifts & pay for overseas shipping.
We either, shopped at the store together or got online to choose gifts for that family. It was a wonderful way to put the focus on others & serving.
Another way we encouraged giving was to choose a local family in need. As a family, we went to WalMart & chose gifts for each person in that family. I usually bought a turkey or ham dinner for the family. On Christmas Eve, we delivered the food & gifts, along with some type of Gospel item. Sometimes it was a Gospel Christmas book for the kids; other times it was the Jesus movie. I wanted to have a small impact on this family that we may not see again.
Passing Out Gifts on Christmas Morning
I’ve heard all sorts of stories about opening Christmas gifts. One Christmas Eve, we had a free-for-all with our relatives. The kids may have had fun, but I didn’t think they were able to open gifts & acknowledge the giver.
When they were young, I read about an idea to overcome the chaos of opening presents & the focus of “getting/gimme’s”. Here’s what we do:
Instead of one person handing out the gifts, or having a free-for-all, Steve passes out the gifts to the “giver”. We take turns “giving” our gift to another family member. The recipient is able to thank the giver & appreciate the gift they received. I love this idea because the focus is on giving, not getting.
These are just 3 ways our family tried to overcome the gimme’s of Christmas. How does your family change the focus to giving, serving & others?
.Question: How do you do Christmas gift giving in your family? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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