Celebrating A Simple Christmas: Teaching Our Children to be Givers

One of the things we try to emphasize a great deal in our home is giving. We want to train our children to not only understand how to be wise in handling money, but we want to instill in them what we believe is one of the greatest purposes for wisely stewarding money: so that we have more to give to others.

In our everyday lives, we are seeking to encourage them to be givers. One of the ways we are doing this is by sponsoring children through Compassion International.

We read the letters from our sponsored children to them, we walk about the living conditions in other countries, we talk about how much a small amount of money we give can be used for so much good in countries where they have next to nothing and we involve our children in making cards and pictures to send back to our sponsored children.

Yesterday, we made Christmas cards together to send to our sponsored children (yes, I know, they won’t get there until after Christmas, but I figured that the sentiment would still be meaningful!).

After our cards were finished and addressed, it was dark and Jesse was home, so we all loaded up into the van and went to look at Christmas lights. The light displays didn’t seem as plentiful this year, but we still had fun together — and that’s what was most important!

How are you encouraging your children to be givers this Christmas season? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi, Crystal. This year, our 7 yr old twin boys wanted to count their change and tooth fairy dollars and buy a new DS game. So, we told them that we would roll and count the money and take it to the bank. They each had $30 to spend. We went to Target, and they chose games to give to our church’s Christmas project…and then what was left over they could use for themselves. They were so proud of themselves! Then, in church that following Sunday, they wanted to put the rest of their money (which was about $2.50 each ) in the offering. It was a great lesson for them to see that giving to others is God’s will, makes you feel good, and that God will provide for you when you give to others. Merry Christmas!

  2. Anon says

    We chose a family that we knew was having a hard time financially, and put together a Christmas box of toys for their kids. To involve my kids, I took two of them shopping with me for the gifts, so they could help choose. I wanted them to walk the toy aisle thinking of others instead of themselves for a change. They enjoyed it, I believe. I also had them help me decorate the box.

  3. says

    We adopt a family every year for Christmas. Our whole family contributes to make it a very special Christmas. This year I requested we buy all the toys so that my three year old could go out and shop for them with me. We had some moments of not wanting to give with her but it was the opening I needed to explain why we do it. Tomorrow we are going to wrap all the presents and she is going to help. She loves to show her dad what we got “the family”! It is very sweet!!!! It is never to young to start!!!!

  4. Lee says

    We spend a lot of time talking about what we could do for others. We make homemade gifts for each other every year. My 2 older sons go out of their way to try to think of something to give to grandparents as a gift. I bake a lot (7-9 different types of cookies and 2-3 dozen of each). Then we pack up about 2/3 of them to give to friends and send to hubby’s work. Once the cookies are packed we add a card and we go deliver. They love that part. We talk about seeing how happy people are to recieve. We haven’t driven around to see christmas lights this year, but we have taken detours on the way to other places to check them out. usually we sing the entire time to christmas tunes.
    We also make a point to talk about being together as a family, and that some are not that lucky. We talk about people we won’t be seeing and how we can connect with them.
    We clean the house together and that also mean going through the toys and deciding what to part with. Then we go donate them together along with the clothes we don’t need anymore.
    I figure practice makes perfect, that if we live the way we want them to be daily then they will hae those habits. We make a point to give all the time, not just the holidays.

  5. Esther a homeschool momma in Mid-Michigan says

    One of the ways I’m teaching my boys to be givers is leading by example. We did some baking, mostly I did the baking, my youngest did the sampling! Then I bagged up the goodies, which I got for free or close to it with sales/coupons and put a Chick tract in the bags. I’ve been able to give them out so far to our garbage men and the mail man. Not only do they get a nice snack, they will also get the real CHRISTmas message in a comic gospel tract. I also plan on passing out my goody bags to my favorite cashiers at Riteaid and Walgreens :)

  6. says

    Our daycare is at a church, which also has a food pantry. Since November, the teachers asked that each child bring in an item to share every Wednesday. I sent a full bag rather than just one item. My daughter also goes shopping to CVS and Walgreens with me, and knows that much of what we get there goes to “people who don’t have a house that live in a shelter”. She is always asking if she can give things to others! I hope my baby boy will do the same.

  7. Rosey says

    I am really happy to hear people are still thinking of others…It seems like these days most kids are me, me, me and too self absorbed. I had more fun buying toy for the Toys for Tots program than anything else. I knew whatever that the children got, they would be happy just getting any toy at all =)

  8. says

    Having no children myself, I can only tell you what MY parents did that helped me while growing up.

    1) They taught me that it was “just money” – THINGS will burn and die and go away, but PEOPLE will live forever…somewhere. And PEOPLE are what matter.

    2) They modeled giving to all of us. They were always inviting people over for a meal, giving college students passing through gas money to get back to school, taking furloughing missionaries out to buy new clothes, giving financial gifts to their kids with no strings attached. Each and every time they would do something for someone, they would quote my grandfather (my mom’s dad who had done SO much for them while my dad was in medical school and training)…”Any ol’ pipe will do. God gave it all to me, He’s just looking for someone who is willing to be a clean pipe to channel his blessings through to someone else. Someday it will be you who can turn around and do for others – just be willing and available to do it.” His lesson stuck with them and their combined lesson and life examples stuck with Dad and Mom’s 5 kids.

    3) One thing Mom grabbed on to when I was young was packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes every year. At the very least, I was involved in the shopping, picking out, and packing of each box. As I got older, my finances were added to the pot and I started paying for everything in at least one shoebox. Doing something for a kid my age who had nothing impacted me deeply. As my husband and I served around the world as missionaries, we saw a lot of poverty – the gift of the shoeboxes became very real to me. Now that we live back in the States, I still pack shoeboxes every year and try to get the word out for others to help. We packed 6 shoeboxes this Christmas and I already have my stash going for next year (the sales are a great time to stock up on “fillers” for the boxes!).

    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  9. Shannon says

    We have a rule about Santa in our house- he won’t come unless you show giving spirit all year. This includes donating food to canned food program, toys for less fortunate, packages to troops and going through your room and donating toys and clothing that you don’t use often and are in good shape to a thrift store that the proceeds go to help the local hospital. My daughter takes all donations herself so she can go through the experience. She shops for the toys and the food herself too so she can pick out things for others she might enjoy if she were in that situation. She really enjoys giving and I like that it links reward for her for giving. This year she’s old enough that she knows the truth about Santa, but she really understands the spirit. There’s much more we could do, but this is one tradition we have stuck to and enjoy.

  10. Carrie G. says

    We actually are involved in a couple of things each year. We always “adopt” a child from our bus ministry to buy Christmas presents for. The girls LOVE to help pick out and wrap the gifts with us. As an extended family we try to reach out to the local community. My brother is a Director at a local inner city mission. So each year My parents, my brother and his family, and my family sing at their annual Christmas dinner. It is such a blessing to make Christmas a little warmer for the men and families at the shelter. We also make cookies for our neighbors and go caroling to hand them out. It is so much fun to see the girls excited about serving others!

  11. says

    My 10 year old daughter has been saving for a DS handheld game system. It has taken a long time for her to save $43. Last week she heard about Food For The Poor building homes for Haitians and she wanted to give, but she wanted my husband and I to give our money.

    We told her that she should pray about giving some of her money. She didn’t want to, but an hour later she came downstairs and announced that God wanted her to give half her money!

    This taught her not only the sacrifice of giving but the discipline of praying about what to give.

    God faithfully honored her $21.50 gift and she received over $40 (unsolicited) in the next week from friends and family!

  12. says

    Giving is a life mission of our family. As a family we ask God to open our eyes to see ways we can bless others. We pray daily for the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in our lives to make a difference for others. Practically speaking we teach our children to GIVE by having them be a part of our giving. They HELP us throughout the year (whatever we are doing… baking, cooking, cleaning, shopping, mowing) do what we are doing for others. I have so much JOY in watching my children live a life of generosity!! As they have gotten older they have blossomed in their individual ways of giving to others by using their skills and giftedness. Our children are now 13, 11,7,6. We named our oldest, Wesley, in honor of John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley lived on 10% of his income and gave the other 90% away!! Oh, to live like that!!!! This week we have been spreading Christmas cheer at our schools. We are blessed to have a wonderful rural public school (with MANY christian teachers). We made baskets of home made goodies and delivered them. FUN! I pray that my children do grow up to find the total truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive!!!! Thank you for your continued inspiration and encouragement!! I want to GIVE even more next year appreciate your example very much!!

  13. says

    Last year for Christmas, just before we traveled to China to adopt our daughter, my husband and I started using Christmas Day as a volunteer day. We went to a homeless shelter and spent the day cooking for the men. This year will be our first Christmas with our beautiful daughter, and her first Christmas ever. We will be heading out to a Christian Assisted Living Center on Christmas Day with her to spread some cheer to the residents. I can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of the residents, as well as hers!

  14. says

    I do think focusing on giving is what is most important. I feel so blessed to have kids that don’t really care about what they get. I love what my 7 year old told someone who asked him what he wanted for Christmas: “I want whatever I am given.”

    Some of the ways that we have worked to emphasize giving instead of dreaming about what we are getting is:
    -Filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child (and by the way this is thanks to you- as this is where I really learned about it.) We have done this for 2 years now- Each of my 4 children fill a box.
    -We made quilts to send to an Orphanage in Uganda.
    -Thinking of little things we can give or do to brighten up someone that would not expect anything from us.
    -Each child makes or buys (with their own earned money) a small gift to put in the other family members’ stockings. We have so much fun with our secretive activities before Christmas. Our kids really enjoy creating things for others.

    To help keep the focus off of the getting in our house we also have made a limit that all gifts must fit in the stocking. We don’t exchange gifts with extended family either.

  15. Heather C says

    My Husband and I have each picked two children off the Salvation Army tree to buy for and had so much fun shopping in past years. Now that we have a child of our own, we let him help pick out the gifts and help his Dad put together the bikes we bought. He’s only 3 but he seems to get the idea. Then we started a tradition of cleaning out our toy bin right before Christmas. We take all the toys that my son has outgrown and are still in great shape. My son and I clean them and say “bye bye” to them as we pack them up for Children at a Christian Orphanage we sponsor. He loves the idea of his toys going to a new home and it makes parting with things actually enjoyable instead of putting up a fight like I’ve seen a lot of other children do. Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone!

  16. Jana T says

    Starting about 5 years ago with an AWANA group, I’ve been involved in Operation Christmas Child (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/ ). It’s such a wonderful way to focus on others at Christmas time! This year, my husband and I went shopping together for a couple boxes and as the Lord brings along children, I definitely plan to make this a tradition in our household.

  17. Amanda says

    This is something we are always trying to work on with our 5 year-old son. Every year at Christmas we contribute money to Heifer International instead of buying gifts for the adults in the family. This year we had him go through the catalogue with us to pick out what animals we would sponsor. We also asked him to contribute some of his money so that it is truly a “family” project. He still struggles with the idea that giving some of his money means he has less to spend on toys. We just reiterate the idea that giving to Heifer means helping other kids to have food (it helps that our church collects for the food pantry so he hears the “food” message throughout the year), go to school, etc. It can be really frustrating for me that he isn’t always so eager to give, but my husband reminds me that he is only 5 years old and that we as adults have a different perspective on all of this. We try to have faith that our role modeling and repetition of the giving message will take hold as time goes on. Happy holidays!

  18. Kelley says

    We volunteer at the local food bank, actually deliver meals for Christmas, it makes the kids appreciate the nice home they live in and the food God has provided them with. Their scout troop also has a toy drive and every Scout uses his allowance, birthday money, etc. to purchase something for the kids who live at the local orphanage.

  19. JoAnne says

    Operation Christmas Child boxes that we fill throughout the fall. (Usually starting with Back-to-School sales in August)

    Each of our kids picks out a gift that *they* would like (matching their age and gender) to donate to a local ministry.

  20. theresa says

    our house church has an “african” – a can decorated for contributions to send to a pastor of a fellowship in uganda – he was with our church body for several months last summer and we were all aware of the incredible expense of his airfare and the Lord Jesus Christ met all of his needs there – we did not know until after he left that he struggles to provide food for his seven children and wife – our church body has been able to send a monthly love offering, which my children love to contribute to (they each have envelopes for giving, saving, and spending) – our pastor friend has always graciously acknowledged the gift, but this month, he sent us a note saying that his children were so much happier and doing so much better in school as a result of having enough food! and that the hospitality he and his wife have longed to offer has been possible! by the grace of God, my husband and i are climbing out of debt, but our children are well fed and we can offer something to anyone who comes to our door – all that to say – give! as the Lord Jesus Christ has given to you, give! no matter what the world says about the state of our economy, if your citizenship is in heaven, your King will provide for you! and use you to provide for others! and your children will follow you as you cheerfully give!

  21. Darcie says

    We do the Angel Tree, and Shoebox Greetings to Mexico through our church. Also this year we decided to find one family every year and send them a care package of food.

  22. Marie Hill says

    Since last year we started the tradition of doing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child. My twins are 3 1/2 and love it. It was great to see them really understand what it is about. We showed them a video from the website and also bought the new Veggie Tale moving about the true meaning of Christmas. We went out one night on a date and the babysitter told us when we got home that the kids had found a box and put alot of there toys in it and asked to give it to kids that don’t have any. This made me cry tears of joy that they wanted to give without being asked.
    Another way we are giving is they went with my husband to a local ministry and dropped off two bags of brand new toys, 3 bags of groceries, and another bag of toiletries. They got to see where everything was going.
    We’ve opted not to exchange gifts with one side of our family and donate to organizations like Operation Smile and such.
    Next year we will be sponsering a child and I’m excited about this and their involvement.

  23. says

    Teach them while they are babies and it pays off when they are teenagers, I had a moment this past weekend that made me burst with pride.
    When our girls were little, their daddy would give them change and hold them up so they could place it in the kettles for the salvation army bell ringers, and explained how just that little bit would benefit some other children and bless their christmas.
    This past weekend my girls who are now 19 and 16 were walking ahead of me as we entered Bass Pro, and with out heistation or blinking an eye they spotted the bell ringer, both reached into their purses and took out money of their own and put it in the kettle, my eyes welled up I won’t lie, the bell ringer smiled at me as I put my money in and said “what lovely girls you have”
    I thanked him and replied, “inside and out”

  24. says

    My daughter is a few months younger than your youngest, but last year, we decided to start a tradition. We chose a child off the giving tree the same age as our child and picked a gift for them. We did it again this year. She doesn’t get it yet, but I know it will be a powerful tool when she’s old enough to know she’s giving a gift to s special little girl just like her. :)

  25. says

    One thing we are doing this year is trying to buy as many bell ringers as we can a cup of hot cocoa.

    They work hard for little and need some encouragement sometimes! Tawra

  26. Noah says

    We have our kids each pick one tag off of the giving tree at my husband’s work (we try to steer them towards a child around their own age) and then they shop with us for the gifts. This year one of the tags was so sobering – it was a 6yo girl who asked for “a pillow, it is so nice and soft and warm”. Can you imagine being 6 and getting to ask for ONE thing for Christmas and choosing a PILLOW! If I saw this girl in real life I would have wanted to take her home with me. Anyways, that was a gift we filled plus some.

    The other thing we do giving wise year round, is that my oldest son (who is the only one really old enough to “get” the value of money) puts a portion of what he earns in the collection plate at Church, just like we do.

  27. Tanya says

    We too sponsor a child through Compassion International. In addition, this year our three year old daughter and I went on a Christmas shopping date to buy presents for children in our community who may not otherwise get presents (angel tree project). Our daughter loved picking out gifts for other kids. We’re also making and freezing soup to take to the widows and widowers in our church. May we all be motivated to keep on giving all year long!

  28. says

    Our children made up homemade Christmas cards and we went to a local nursing home yesterday to give them out and visit with the residents. We went to be a blessing, but we were the ones blessed abundantly!!

  29. says

    This year I had my boys make cards for their friends. I sent out the usual photo card to the adults but then we sat down and made cards for their little buddies. I attached candy canes to each card which was a tough lesson for my boys because they wanted to keep the candy for themselves. I have heard so much about Compassion lately I think we may adopt a child of our own to bless throughout the year.

  30. Beth says

    So happy that you all sponsor a child! I sponsor through World Vision and think it’s the best thing ever! I love to save, but I know SOO many that save only for themselves and never give. I am so happy to see that your family sees others in need!
    Merry Christmas everyone!!

    • says

      @Beth, We truly believe that one of the greatest reasons for being wise financial stewards of our money is so that we can give to others. We get so much more blessing through giving than we ever would if we just hoarded it!

      And we’ve also found that you can’t outgive God!

      • Beth says

        @Crystal, So true! That’s the focus we also have. I know of several couponers who protest the very idea of donating one can to help the hungry. So happy that you all & this blog are not of that mind-set!

        • says

          @Beth, We too love that learning to coupon and save has given us the ability to be able to donate year round to our local Ministerial Alliance.

          It is also nice knowing that if my Pastor’s Wife tells me someone is in need that I can go home and put them together a “survival kit”.

          I thank God that we are able to help others I am trusting that in 2011 will we be able to help even more than we did in 2010. :)

  31. says

    We always buy for a needy family in our community and our children are a big part of that process. Picking out pillows, sheets and basic necessitates gives my children much appreciation for the simple things in life.

    Besides giving material things, I’ve tried to teach my children how to be givers in other ways. For example, my oldest son brought us to tears last year when he got off the ice and didn’t make his moumental “50th” goal for the season in his last hockey game. We were still proud but when he gave his version why he didn’t score, I crumbled with tears of joy. He said that there was only one kid on his team without a goal and he was determined to assist him with his first goal instead of receiving the glory himself.

    This year his Christmas list is small. He rather his younger brothers receive over him. Those stong values, teamwork and compassion are simple yet huge in our eyes! It is my hope that all of my children will continue to give over receive in all ways.

  32. Dianna says

    We had our oldest son (3) go through his toys and find toys he could give to Jesus. We told him we will take these toys and give them to other little boys who don’t have toys. He really liked the idea of giving things away. My husband and I also bought a dairy cow for a pastor in Africa and we printed out a picture of the man and his family so we could tell our boys about him and to pray for him. We really believe giving is so important this time of year and for our children to understand it is much more important to give than receive.

  33. Amanda says

    We adopted a family through our church for Christmas who has kids around the same age as my kids so that they can help pick out the presents. Then they help wrap them and go with me to drop them off.

    On a more regular basis, my four year old gives a quarter out of his allowance to church every week (he gets $1.35 each week if he does all his chores). Even if he doesn’t do all the chores and gets less, the first thing he has to do is put a quarter into the offering envelope. He gets whatever is leftover.

  34. holi says

    Every year, with the help of the blogs we stockpile various things. When the holidays come around we always have plenty to share. We are living on my income only, this Christmas. So I thought this year would be a less giving year for us, considering it is hard for me to provide for my own family. However, God had other plans.

    Thanksgiving & Christmas my youngest child’s class adopted a needy family to give holiday baskets. The middle child’s school collected for both holidays also. All of which we were able to give heaping bags!

    Later November is when the Blue Star Mothers collect for the active duty soldiers, which is one of my favorite organizations to give to. We had so much to give the soldiers! Hundreds of dollars worth, that with MSM I certainley didn’t pay that much for! :)

    Then at work a coworker, (who has just started following the blogs) told me her children were collecting things for their church for an organization called “The Forgotten Men”. They are the men who are in prison who have no outside support network to help them get personal care items, while they are in prison. How great is it for those men to have prayer meetings and personal items brought to them? I pray they do not lose hope & believe no one cares about them, including the Lord. I felt such hope when we gave to this group. Another heaping bag full was given.

    At my job, a client came to us, Dec 20th, with shorts & a t-shirt on. We are in Michigan. It has been 15-20 degrees outside, for weeks. When we asked what was going on, she replied she didn’t have another else. When we looked down at her 4 yr old, he was wearing only a fleece pullover, no coat. You can’t live in the winter of Michigan w/o a coat. She also told us that the church that adopted her children for the holidays delivered the wrong basket & they didn’t know where hers was. So, the 6 of us at work started putting our heads together. We found another church who could help with some clothing for the children & mom. But we also came up with individual ideas. My Stockpile! I had personal care items, cleaning stuff, food, those games that were so cheap a couple weeks back, plus warm clothes. My family, my work family, & I felt so good & in the spirit of Christmas by sharing with this Family.

    All 3 of my girls are involved with the collecting & giving. And it does begin when children are small.

    SO even though my family is having financial issues, we are still blessed enough to be able to share with Lots of Others during this Holiday Season!

  35. says

    We went and picked out two toys to donate to Toys for Tots this year. The kids picked out one for a boy and one for a girl. My older two really enjoyed looking for something to buy.

    My oldest then surprised me again by asking if he could take a canned good to the school to donate to the food drive we are having there! I was so proud of him for thinking to do that on his own.

  36. Jennifer says

    We give to Toys for Tots (there’s no set dollar amount, so it’s an easy give for a smaller budget) and bake for our neighbors. My 5 year old helped shop, cook and package gifts while our 5 month old watched :).

    Merry Christmas!

  37. says

    Awwww–your little one has grown so much all ready!!

    We do not have children, but my husband and I sponsor a child in Ethiopia through Childfund International. HIs name is Biniyam, and we send each other letters and include little gifts for him each time. It’s such a pleasure to read his notes!

  38. Priscilla says

    Okay, this is way off topic but I noticed the cute, colorful booster seats your kiddos were sitting on. Where did you get those?

    Thanks!

    • says

      @Priscilla, I got them from Diapers.com. They were on sale and I had credits from a diaper deal I posted here back last year so they were free!

      We love them, although I doubt I would have splurged on them if they hadn’t have been free! :)

  39. says

    beautiful children!!! They look so happy and your girls are the spitting image of you!

    We do angel trees at both the church the kids attend MDO at and the our church. In addition, my church has a ministry called Starfish Kenya and our entire offering on Christmas Eve goes 100% to them. So we’ll be donating specifically for that purpose as well.
    Our kids are still pretty little so they don’t really “get it” yet. My son seemed to understand that the toys we were buying were for a special little boy, but beyond that I’m not sure how much he understood. Next year, I have a feeling it will make a bigger impact.

    Less light than normal around here as well. Not sure if it’s the economy or lack of Christmas spirit? (or both) We still so enjoyed our annual look at lights night (we went Sunday night)!

  40. Melissa L says

    May I ask, why Compassion International vs other Christian non-profits? We want to give where the money will make the most impact and wanted to know how you decided, what research did you do, etc. Thanks!

  41. Aeryn says

    We sat down with our kids and went through the requests at our favorite charity, one that helps the working poor with emergency or unexpected expenses. A friend of our family received aid from them, and we know that they thoroughly vet the requests to ensure they’re legitimate, and then they pay directly to the agency (the landlord, the utility company, etc.). Donors to the site get to vote on which needs to fund. It made our kids grateful that their family is well off enough to not have any of these expenses be a problem, and they debated among themselves what was a worthier need. The website is located at Modest Needs dot org.

  42. says

    This year my kids have made most of our Christmas gifts. I’ve also had them donate toys to Toys for Tots and have had them put money in the bell ringers can. We got toys and clothes together for a needy family. It’s a small start but we’re working on it.

  43. Kelly says

    I wish I could take credit for teaching this to my daughter but it was all God!

    My daughter is 11 years old and at church last weekend another little girl about her age mentioned that she didn’t want anything for Christmas because her parents said it was going to be hard this year. Well, my daughter decided right then and there that she was going to do something for that little girl (she didn’t even know her name). This Saturday, she bought her some gifts using her own money that she had received as an early Christmas present and also 2 gift cards she had also received as gifts and wrapped them up and gave them to the little girl’s family for Christmas. I am so proud of her and also humbled by her selflessness.

  44. says

    We purchase something through Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog–last year it was a week’s worth of milk and some baby chicks, this year my son wanted to give money for sports equipment :)

    We try to make food for people in our neighborhood, especially those shut in during the winter. My children love to bake so that is a fun thing for them to do.

    Talking about the reasons for what we do is important, even if they don’t grasp the specifics of it right now :) We are thankful to be blessed by so many others so we want to spread those blessings around in our little ways :)

  45. says

    We put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. I signed up for a child in the same age/gender bracket as my daughter (age 2 1/2) and together we picked out toys, crayons, etc. to give to our Christmas child. We talked about how Jesus is the best gift of all, and we celebrate His birthday by giving gifts. I’m wanting to think of more ways to teach about giving and generosity throughout the year, so I’m enjoying the other great ideas here.

  46. Ginger says

    Your children are all beautiful and look like they are very happy and good kids. You and Jesse should be so proud of them.

    I sponsor a little girl from India named Sabina through Children International. It is SO worth it (and I highly recommend it!), and I hope to sponsor another as soon as I am on more solid ground financially.

    Merry Christmas, everybody!!

    • says

      Thank you; we are truly beyond blessed. It’s so much better than we deserve (to quote a Dave Ramsey line!). We’re very much enjoying it — and loving being able to open it up to others!

  47. Jan says

    My teenage son’s youth group started a $10 give-back-to-the-community project last year. Each youth gets $10 to spend however s/he wants as long as it helps someone in the community. Last year, thanks to what I’ve learned on blogs like this one, we were able to get $224 in food and personal care items. This year we’ll top $300. So many things are free after coupons!

  48. says

    Adorable pictures of the kids! Love this post with them working on cards for others.

    Our girls took money from their piggy banks to buy items for Operation Christmas Child, plus we donate items through our church, school, and Moms group to give to families in need during this time and at various times during the year. I think it is important to demonstrate this to our children throughout the year not just during the Christmas Season! It amazes me how much they pick up from what we do as parents. Our actions and giving make an impact on our children.