Along with the memories that you sculpt for your family, you are also transmitting meaning to your children and framing their worldview. Make the most of this time to communicate the truth that God came to earth so we could know Him. Work out ways to counter the consumerism that innundates our celebrations. Provide ways to for your children to give. Here are some of the ways I'm working to communicate the true meaning of the season.
- Ask Another Question: What do you want to give? I have been tryng to reframe the "What I want" statements with thoughts of giving. Even dreaming of giving. "If you had $100 to spend on someone else, what would you give them?" This question has brought lots of fun and important responses.
- Give to Strangers: Each year we send shoe boxes for children the same ages as mine along with time spent learning about the needs. There are wonderful 'catalogs' where you can choose chicks, water filtering systems, a goat and other larger items that would make a difference to a family. This year we went in with others to purchase a goat! We chose a name from our local angel tree and had fun shopping for a little boy and we rarely pass a Salvation Army bucket without contributing. I keep cash on hand when we go out just for this purpose.
- Hands-on Nativity: Along with our Christmas stories, I have the Fisher Price Little People Nativity. I don't know how many years they will continue to enjoy it, but for now it's still fun to act out events.
- Provide gifts for Daddy: I want my children to enjoy giving and to be generous, so I provide gifts for each to give their Daddy. Ideas that are budget friendly include letting their inner artist decorate a blank canvas, baking a favorite dessert, decorating a t-shirt or a certificate/card for an activity they can do together like going to the movies, etc. You are teaching them to give and giving your children the gift of loving both parents.
- Participate in your faith community: Being consistent and faithful at your church demonstrates the importance and priority of community. The added layer of adult role models who are like-minded deepens the impact of the truth we hold to at Christmastime. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year and I'm just thrilled for the chance to put down our gifts and join with others as we focus on the greatest gift of all time, Christ coming so we could know God. I'm excited to sit together with my children. I liked this post about "Why I Will Go to Church on Christmas."