Does Your family do something together for Christmas to help someone else? Do you adopt a family or are you passing along the Christmas Blessing card?
Giving is not about toys, things, or possessions. Giving, or at least, the kind of giving I want to teach my children to do, is about grace.
“Grace”, in Christian terms, is the ultimate gift. It is something given freely, not earned. It has no ulterior motive. It is selfless. Grace is a force more powerful and more loving than any feeble human emotion, need or want.
Grace lies at the heart of every true gift. But you can’t give with grace if you’re thinking of yourself first! Or if your gift comes with strings attached, or sends a mixed message to the recipient.
When we ask our children to give, do we teach them to give with grace? Or is it merely, as it seems to be for this family, a learning experience purchased with old toys–without the slightest thought for the comfort, the embarrassment, the feelings of the other child to the transaction?
We need to bring giving into our lives all year long. During the holiday season, it is easy to share our good fortune. Food drives, bell ringers, charity functions help us remember the needs of others.
People are hungry the other 364 days of the year! Do our children see us model charity and giving from January through November? If not, what message are we sending them: that hunger and pain and misery only exist at Christmas? That we should only respond to this need only at Christmas time?
We need to make giving real to our children. Best strategy: get them involved.