I love watching my little boy get excited when he gets something he wants (even if that is something as simple as sweet tea from Chick Fil A — when was the last time YOU jumped up and down when you were offered sweet tea as a drink option?)
What I love more is seeing him get so excited to give to others. On Christmas morning last year, he couldn’t wait to give me my Christmas present. He wanted to give me my present before he opened any of his. It was so sweet.
We try to make the holidays just as much (if not more) about giving than about getting. Today, we went shopping to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. We had a blast browsing Target’s amazing dollar section and toy section looking for little items to put in a shoebox. (Well, actually, we bought a plastic bin there as well). When we came home to eat lunch, he couldn’t wait to show his daddy all of the things we had bought for another child halfway across the world.
Today, I feel incredibly thankful that I am able to give to others. Sometimes, I feel I don’t have much to give, especially monetarily (and then the guilt kicks in that I am richer than 75% of the people in the world). Sometimes, I feel like I should be giving more than I do in other ways. Should I be back in the work force counseling families? Should I be volunteering more of my time (however that can be done with a preschooler in tow)? I struggle to find the balance between giving and having time to recharge and meet my own family’s needs. However, it is a huge priority of mine to make sure that my child knows that he is blessed. It is a huge priority of mine for him to help us help others — whether that is by filling a shoebox, sponsoring a child, sharing his toys (we even talked today about how we were putting in some duplicate items so the little boy receiving our box can share if he wants to), or comforting or listening to a friend. So far… and certainly not all through my own doing or example… I have a little boy who loves to help others and reminds me of how wonderful it is to give.
I’d love to know what you are doing this holiday season — or any time — to teach your children the value of giving to others and of giving thanks for what they have!