I was talking to a friend after church and she shared something that had been on her heart. How do we convey our spiritual beliefs to our children? That is a great question. As I was thinking about Doing Christmas Differently, I wanted to share an experience that made Christmas special for our children. Perhaps it will help you communicate what you really believe to the next generation of believers.
A few years back we participated in a Christmas Outreach Challenge for our church. The task was simple. We were given an envelope with $75 in it. We had the names of three children and their ages. We had to spend $25/child and see how far we could make it stretch for their gifts. The pastor patted us on the back and said, “Get as much as you can.” We thought it would be nice if we took our children along with us to the toy store to shop for someone else. – WHAT WERE WE THINKING! We were able to get each child three or four modest gifts. I remember my daughter begging for this one doll. She didn’t want to wrap it. She held on to it until the last minute. She cried when we took it away. We wrapped each gift and made arrangements to drop them off to the family.
We decided to take our children with us to drop the gifts off. I remember praying in the car before ringing the apartment building buzzer. When we got to the apartment, we met the recipients. Three young girls 4, 6, and 9 years old. They were being raised by their great-grandmother. I can still see the table top plastic Christmas tree, adorned with built in lights. It was bare underneath. The great-grandmother shared with us some of the hardships of raising such young girls. She shared her struggles with a smile, saying that she would keep trying to give the girls what they needed. We learned then that the gifts we delivered would be all there was for Christmas.
When we got back in the car I kept thinking about the family. I kept praying. My husband and I begin reaching out to others to see if they were interested in partnering with us to bring a few more gifts to this family. We delivered three huge sacks of gifts to this family, but what amazed me most was that my daughter’s heart changed. Instead of trying to keep the gifts for herself, she began offering her own toys. She wanted to give away her most precious possessions to make another little girls smile.
I cried as she helped pack up the gifts. Something changed in her, because though she was young, she could see the impact of giving. She experienced the words of Christ when we went up to that apartment and saw the joy on the face of the great-grandmother and the anticipation of the girls, ” It is better to give than to receive.” Since that day she has been a giver. It’s just something she gets in a deeper place now.
Click to Tweet So, if you want to Do Christmas Differently with your children – find a way to serve!
How do you teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas. Please share it with us. Leave a Comment.
— TeshaFritz (@teshafritz) December 10, 2014
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