The Tradition of Giving Gifts with Meaning
Even when times are hard it still seems that one of the easiest things to give of is money. When we give gifts it is easy to just flippantly buy something for someone, especially as children. While, it is a very important lesson to teach children how to save their money with the end result not being purchasing something for themselves; sometimes the more difficult gift to give is giving of yourself, your time. Because giving the gift of time seems more difficult as adults, this is a valuable habit or tradition to teach your children. For the last few weeks we have discussed planning a family gift to Jesus or ministry opportunity. Once that gift is planned you can then get your children excited about looking for ways to serve each other in the home and giving gifts of themselves. Parents can lead by example. A fun, possibly funny, idea for parents is to give your children coupon books for items of service as stocking stuffers. Something like, one coupon good for mom or dad doing one load of your laundry or helping you clean your room. Get as creative as you want, even with something like a late bed pass good for an staying up an hour later on the weekends or a coupon good for the homemade meal of their choice. Help your kids with ideas for gifts of service for their siblings and mom or dad.
Another great gift idea is helping your children make a gift to go along with the store bought one. This will also help teach your children giving the gift of time. For dad, a great idea would be having each child list ten of their favorite things about their dad or their favorite memories with dad this year. If they are older you can have them type them up and add pictures, you may find that your children are much more proficient in computer skills then you are. If your children are younger you can type it or have them write it neatly and draw a border. Then you can help them frame it for dad’s office. For mom you can have your children pick out their favorite pictures from this year and each make pages for a homemade scrapbook. Both of these can be a fun tradition to give every year. The important thing is to teach your children how to give gifts with meaning, whether it’s through your family Christmas ministry or to each other.