Teaching My Kids To Give This Christmas

Those of you that celebrate Christmas like I do in my family, there is the excitement of seeing if Santa came on Christmas eve and delivered gifts and left them for the children under the tree.  The excitement that bubbles up as we unwrap those presents can be a feeling that stays in our hearts and minds forever.  I can still remember every Christmas morning from my childhood, and now as a parent I see that in my kids’ faces.  My four children, aged 12-6, are very fortunate to have experienced that feeling and have yet to have a real Christmas or holiday of want.  For some children, they are not as fortunate and are not afforded those feelings of joy and excitement.  They not only do not know what they will be getting as a gift for Christmas but might not know where they will be at Christmas, be it a shelter, or a foster home, on the street or a place that Santa cannot find to deliver their precious gift on Christmas morning.  Some children will have a sad morning without a present, and may later that same day not know where their next meal will come from and where they will sleep that night.

I explained this to my kids. I talked slowly and carefully until I knew that they could grasp the seriousness of that existence.  I watched as they wrapped their mind around the thought of a child, cold and hungry and without a gift at Christmas.  It is more than their little hearts could bear and they wanted to help.  We are not a family of means, but the Lord has provided what we have and what we need.  We also have a little to share this Christmas and my children are experiencing a new found generosity.  It happens that our church is sponsoring a program that is in full swing this week.  It is a great life lesson we can use to teach our kids to share and to give.

The program is called Operation Christmas Child, and it is organized and put on by an organization called Samaritan’s Purse. (It is a really small world. I was able to meet a couple of people from their marketing team recently at BlogWorld & New Media Expo. Hi Hope and Sarah!) Samaritan’s Purse first began the program in 1993 when they began to collect shoe boxes, and the program has now grown to provide 77 Million boys and girls with a special gift during Christmas.  The program now takes place in 130 different countries.  It truly makes a difference to children and we are proud and humbled to be a part of the program.

Christmas is a time when we can truly bring a feeling of hope and a feeling of belonging in the world to our kids.  I was not fully convinced that my children had really truly understood the depth of the giving until I heard my 6 year old son volunteer to give his presents from Santa to a child that did not have a gift.  I knew then that he had embraced the thought and the despair of someone less fortunate than himself.  I was sure my lesson was learned.  This lesson is not for Christmas alone as it can also be a part of your Hanukah, a part of Kwanzaa or whatever the celebration it is that you support or is part of your family tradition.  This is the time to teach your children about giving.  Give the lesson to them as your gift.

Photo via Wikipedia

About Jim Turner

Founder of One By One Media and Bloggers For Hire, Social Mediasphere Radio Host, Daddy Blogger, Speaker, Social Media Manager