Friday, December 6, 2013

Teaching Little Ones How to Make a Christmas List

With Christmas nearly here, there is lots of anticipation from the children about digging in to the gifts under the tree. This year, Nathan understands what getting presents means to him and he is all-too-thrilled about tearing off that wrapping paper, come December 25th. :)

Every day, I seem to stop and think of what kind of people I want my children to be. We live in such a materialistic world. When I was 10 years old, my Christmas list consisted of some lipstick, a couple CDs, and maybe something big - like a walkman. Now 10 year olds have iPhones, iPads, and $200 UGG boots and they seem to want more and more each year. We adults are, sadly, not much better. It seems like I have to constantly catch myself and remind myself that I don't have to have this or that. Hebrews 13:5 instructs us to be content with what we have. We would do well to live this way and teach our children to do the same.

A tradition my parents started several years before I married was to take me and my siblings to a dollar store every year with $20 and a list of 20 people in our family. Our mission was to find the best gift and/or meaningful gift we could find for each person. My little sisters had a ball and I love what it taught us - that Christmas is not about selfishly hoarding up all the goodies you can. And it isn't about getting the latest item or most expensive present. It's simply about giving with a cheerful heart. As I've grown older, I've become giddy about picking out gifts to give to others. And isn't that what Christmas is all about anyway?? GIVING. I plan to start that tradition this year with Nathan and I simply cannot wait!

So I sat down with him today and we made a list of gifts he would like to GIVE for Christmas. His answers were priceless!! I asked, "What would you like to get Daddy?" His answer? A bed. :)

For his little sister, Selah, he said "a game." For me, a book (he knows me well!). For his grandparents, he said a picture and a game. It was precious to watch him stop and think and then excitedly give an answer on what he thought was the best gift to give.

It's so important to teach our children not to continually covet more and more stuff, but to covet more and more of Jesus. Every year, at Christmastime, I want to emphasize that we don't get presents, we give presents...and we do that because God gave us the very best gift - all that He had.

Let's remember that.

Luke 12:15
"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

1 Timothy 6:6-10
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."

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