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Every year I do the same thing. I tell myself that I will get all my Christmas shopping, and gifts made and done before Thanksgiving. This has been a Christmas wish that continues to elude me! It has been on very rare occasions that I actually have sent Christmas gifts early enough that they arrive before Christmas. Such high hopes... maybe this year? I doubt it.
Whether I have stressed about it or not, by Christmas day, it all works out. Gifts are under the tree, and extended family has come to know that gifts will come in the mail after Christmas. I think of it as an extra Christmas bit of fun extended.
In my almost 28 years of marriage and 21 years of homeschooling, I have learned that we, parents, need to be the examples of how and WHY Christmas is celebrated. It's not about how many presents you get, how much you get done, how incredible your Christmas dinner is, or if your house looks as pretty and festive as your neighbor's. Children learn so much more from what they see lived out in our lives than they ever will learn from our words.
Here are a few ways that our family concentrates more on giving than receiving.
- Every year World Vision and Compassion come out with a Christmas catalog- Our children were given a specific amount of money to spend on purchasing a gift form the catalog.They would give some of their money from their piggy banks and we would give the rest. This gave us the opportunity to show them the needs of children around the world, to remind them to be thankful for all their many blessings, as well as let them experience the blessing of giving.
- Our homeschool group continues to find ways to give: We have made blankets for the homeless shelter, provided groceries for a family to make a Thanksgiving dinner, sent homemade Christmas cards to soldiers, etc. and this year we filled.....
- Shoeboxes for Christmas Child
- When our children were young we would read the story of Jesus birth from Luke 2:8-20. They would dress up as Joseph, Mary, Shepherds, baby Jesus, etc and they would act it out as Dad read.
- My husband and I keep the gifts to our children and each other at a minimal. We are not big spenders, blow the budget, go in debt, etc at Christmas. From the time our children were very young, what they got and how much they got on Christmas day was not the focal point.
- Find opportunities to give all year long. Your children are watching and learning.
Why do we celebrate Christmas? Because Jesus was born to give His life and we are so thankful for that gift!
How does your family focus on giving during the holiday season? I would love to hear. Please comment below.
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn the founder and owner of Yellow House Book Rental, a service to homeschool families. She is a 21-year homeschool veteran of four, two married, one in college, and one teenager at home.
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