Each November and
sometimes before, kids of all ages begin forming their
Christmas wish lists. By the time December first rolls
around, the list has grown huge. Grown ups arenít much
better. Our lists arenít as long, but our gift wishes
are more expensive! A second mortgage may be in order
just to afford everything our kids want. And so begins
the spending, shouting, running, pushing, shoving, and
snatching that accompany frenzied holiday shopping.
How did this happen?
Our kids didnít just wake up one morning with their
hands held out and greed in their hearts. ďI want! I
want!Ē is a learned behavior. We have lost sight that it
is more blessed to give than to receive.
Where It All Begins
As a child, we are not born with knowledge of our
actions. All behavior must be learned. Our first
teachers are our parents and guardians. Kids imitate
what they see. It is up to us as Christian parents to
teach our children to follow the ways of God. That
includes teaching them about giving and receiving. They
say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
but if we donít concern ourselves with giving, how can
we expect our children to act any different?
An Unselfish Gift
The story of the birth of Jesus is a shining
example of selfless giving. God allowed His only Son to
be born, knowing that he would live and die for a world
that had turned its back on Him time and time again. God
offered His gift of love with no strings attached. We
still have the free will to accept or reject His gift.
Actions Speak Where Words Fail
Get kids involved in their communities. Help
them see that there are families who donít have a home
or enough food to eat. Several times a year and
especially during the Christmas holiday season, help
them to go through their closets and gather together
clothing and coats that no longer fit. Kids should come
along with you when dropping off the clothes at Goodwill
or another agency of your choice. Toys in good condition
that arenít played with anymore can be donated too.
Soup kitchens provide hot meals for the hungry all year
round. Take your kids and let them help prepare and
serve. Even at five years of age they can help you
serve. Tell them that Jesus did the same thing for
multitudes of people.
Supermarkets and department stores hang paper Christmas
trees with the names of children who need gifts for
Christmas. Your children will want to choose a tree and
help another child like themselves to have a happy
Christmas morning. Through your actions, your children
will learn that giving unselfishly to another person
feels good and benefits everyone. Their Christmas lists
may just get a little bit shorter and their hearts will
definitely get a whole lot bigger.
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