First, we’ve been trying to emphasize the joy of giving at Christmas versus the thrill of getting at Christmas for their entire lives. It isn’t about presents…it isn’t about presents…it isn’t about presents. That’s my holiday mantra, I think. I knew they were starting to get it two years ago when they started their own little tradition of secretly wrapping gifts for the family. I lost my favorite kitchen spoon for a few days and then realized it was wrapped neatly under the tree with my name on it. I also intercepted a jingling package that was a set of keys. Last year, we told them they could wrap gifts, but they had to be items they themselves already owned. So, I was blessed with a stuffed animal, Charlie received a board book. You get the idea.
I love that they love giving, so this year I’ve been working with each of the girls to find appropriate things they can give to each other and to us. Emma is working on a song to play for me on the piano. She’s also working on a secret writing project for her dad. Ruthie wants to make up a song for me and sing Samuel a lullaby. Olivia is going to practice writing her name. For our extended family, the girls are working on Christmas cards and cookies. Lastly, they have been saving spare change all year for our Compassion International child. We will take that change to the bank to be tallied and make a special donation to her. The girls are also working on a special letter and drawings for their “Uganda sister,” as they have named her.
While I can’t do anything about the commercialism that runs rampant outside my house, I certainly can try to contain it a bit within my own walls. The girls will still receive lots of presents–from family, friends and their own parents, even–but I think what they will enjoy the most is sharing with others the talents and gifts God has blessed them with this year.
So, how about you? What are your kids giving for Christmas this year?