For today's post on gift-giving, I could write about things that my family has made to share with our friends and loved ones. We have a lot of fun making little gifts to share, putting gift tags on them, and watching the eyes of the receiver light up when it is given. A few of our favorites to make are:
Mixes in a Jar
Homemade Sugar Hand Scrub in a Jar
Decorated Trays of Cookies
We usually will take a whole day away from school work sometime in mid-December, and spend the day baking cookies and making little gifts. We'll make a big batch of the sugar hand scrub and "jar" it. This year the girls have a few new projects they have seen on Pinterest that we want to add to our activities.
Our family's favorite Christmas gift-giving project is choosing a family to give Christmas gifts to. We have tried to make it a tradition since the girls were very little. Every year, after deciding on a family, we will buy a few small items, and then deliver on Christmas Eve. We always try to choose someone that could use some encouragement, or has had some trying circumstances that year, or even someone that is all alone. The point is not really to provide gifts to someone in need, as much as it is to provide friendship and encouragement, and share Christ's love.
The lesson taught to the children through this endeavour is to honor our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us:
Matthew 25:40: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
We decided a long time ago to honor the day that remembers Christ's birth in this way. How can we give a gift to Jesus? Since we can't deliver something face to face, the Bible shows us how to give Him a gift - by finding someone to help that He would help if He were present. This includes people that others often overlook at Christmas time. There's a great blessing in giving to someone who you know is unable to give you anything back. It is pure love that motivates that type of gift giving. It is not an obligatory gift. It is truly a gift given to Jesus.
Last year, we were delighted to see that our children, now a little older and wiser, wanted to take on much more of the process of our gift giving. They picked the families, and decided to take care of two after not being able to settle on one. They used their own money to shop and make purchases. They wrapped, and we set out one night to deliver. It was a lot of fun. We were driving around together, singing together, and had a great time visiting with the families and delivering the goodies.
My prayer is that as the children grow, they will continue this tradition, and also expand on it. I hope that they will always enjoy giving, and the joy it brings, and that it will help them to combat the feelings of greed that are so often seen especially at Christmas.