Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.
If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
Guest post from Desiré of When You Rise
Christmas can encourage generosity and goodwill in even the stingiest and grumpiest of people. But is can also breed selfishness and greed as well… especially in children.
Who can blame them? The holiday is so commercialized, that even adults can be left drooling while window shopping and feel guilted into “breaking the bank” in order to give the biggest and the best. It’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas is really about.
A while back, my husband and I decided to implement some Christmas traditions that would keep the birth of Jesus at the center of our celebration. One of them is to give our kids a gift the day after Thanksgiving that will help them celebrate the true meaning of Christmas all season long.
Jesus was not thinking of his own comfort and ease when he gave up the throne and came to earth as a human baby that first Christmas. His selfless love is both humbling and inspiring.
So this year, I thought it would be good to reinforce this spirit of generosity by trying to teach my kids its importance. We came up with a fun and frugal way to do this!
The day after Thanksgiving we are giving them a fun piggy bank that I got on clearance at Target last year after Christmas. A piggy bank certainly isn’t necessary. You could easily turn this into a fun, free craft project with your child! Just use an empty container and decorate it in Christmas colors. It doesn’t need to be fancy!
Here’s how we’re going to use it:
My 2 sons (2 years old and 4 years old) are going to do “jobs” for the next 3 weeks to earn money to put in their banks. They’ll help me sort laundry, dust, clean out the van, wash windows, and so on. Granted they are young, so these “jobs” might end up being more work for me, but I believe it’s a worthwhile lesson.
At the end of the 3 weeks, we’ll count up our money, make a list of recipients to buy gifts for, and head to the local dollar store. They will get to choose one item for each person on the list. My hope is that spending money that they’ve worked for will make the gift-giving all the sweeter and the lesson much more meaningful.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to lavish my children with fun presents, but I also want to instill in them now, that this season is not all about them. My prayer is that teaching them generosity now will help them grasp the incredible and generous gift they have been given in the Savior.
Desiré posts ideas for teaching kids of all ages the Bible and share some of the lessons God is teaching her along the way on this parenting journey at When You Rise.