Monday, October 17, 2011

Two ways to prevent selfish kids at Christmas. 31 days of Christmas Wonder (day 17)

All kids love Christmas, right? And all kids love presents, which is one of the fun parts of the holidays. (I love buying presents for our daughters.) 

As  parents, we wanted our girls to love getting presents, but we wanted them to be even more excited about giving presents. 

Two ways to prevent selfish kids at Christmas:

1. Since our girls were really little, we spent hours every December making homemade gifts for everyone on their list.

Little fingers, coloring pictures of baby Jesus, gluing pieces of flannel blanket to cover baby Jesus, and adding star stickers to the sky. 

Of course the projects got more complicated and fun as they got older. And now those same fingers make homemade quilts etc. (You want to be on Christy and Jenny's gift list.)

My point . . . the girls were more focused and excited about giving gifts to their favorite people, than they were about what they were going to open themselves. (and I just have to say, as adults, they are two of the most generous people I know, and not just at Christmas.)

2. The second way we focused on giving to others was our yearly participation in Operation Christmas Child. What fun we had every year, shopping for things to fill our shoe boxes. And talking about and praying for the child that would receive that fun box.

I am glad that our girls learned the truth of Jesus' words, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
(Acts 20:35)

PS. It is not to late sign up for my giveaway. I will announce the winners tomorrow.

Linking with

image credit: gift, Operation Christmas Child


  1. We've done that! We also did something else for our crew, starting with our oldest at his second Christmas. He was 20 months at the time. Because the stack of gifts at his first Christmas was far bigger than he was (first grandbaby!), we felt we needed to make a change. So we decided that from that point forward, our children would only receive 3 gifts for Christmas. They typically got an article of clothing, a book, and a toy. We reminded them that Christmas was not about them, that it was about Jesus and about giving to others. They made gifts for others and spent time in the kitchen with me putting together plates of Christmas cookies to share. As adults--or near adults--they are quite content with it all and are horrified by what they see when they go other places for Christmas and all the excess. They are also excellent role models for their little brothers, helping out with 'special projects' for siblings, parents, and grandparents.

    Savoring the wonder of Christmas through sanity for the budget, for the family, and for the future has been priceless. Thanks for the reminder to be more intentional with my little ones.

  2. We always did Operation Christmas Child with my grandmother. She would come get us (usually during Thanksgiving break) and my 3 siblings and I would spend the night with her and the next day we would get to go to Target and fill up our boxes. Mine always included a doll but it made me sad I couldn't include a book. Who wouldn't want a book in their shoebox, right?!

    After I went to college my roommate, Jessica, and I filled shoeboxes together every year, even after we weren't roommates anymore.

    This is a fantastic Christmas tradition, thanks for mentioning it!

  3. We did Operation Christmas Child for the first time last year -- a really wonderful way to celebrate Christmas with the boys. I let them fill their boxes with whatever they wanted (with some exceptions: Rowan kept trying to select water guns and other weaponry).

  4. Hi Glenda,

    I so agree with you that we should keep our kids focused on the giving not the "getting".

    Our family has participated in Operation Christmas Child for years. We LOVE it! It's a small way to make a huge impact in a child's life.

  5. Oh Glenda, this is a delightful post! It reminds me of my first year at college in GA. At Christmas, I called my Mom and Daddy and said, "there's a Hawaiian girl here who doesn't have the money to go home for Christmas; can she come home with me?" Of course, Mom and Daddy said, "yes" and then went out to buy Joni Fukudo gifts so she wouldn't feel left out Christmas morning. My Mom and Daddy were so thoughtful and kind! And, after all these years, even though I lost track of Joni, I still remember her name and tuck her into prayer.

  6. Whoo hoo!!! Let's hear it for OCC!!!!


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