It's hard to teach our kids about giving, when at the same time, we're asking them what they want for Christmas. We're bombarded with the "latest and greatest toy" commercials, wants and wish lists. I want to learn to be a better giver myself. I've had my wish lists written right along with the kids...not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't think any of us enjoy shopping aimlessly around the stores. I just don't want it to be the main focus, constantly turning over and over again in the kid's thoughts. A few years ago, Dad and Mom introduced the "Samaritan's Purse" to all the grandchildren. They asked the kids if they would be willing to give up some presents that they would receive from their grandparents so that other children in need could have something. It was a resounding "YES!" from all of them. It was so cute to see them all crowded around Grampy's computer with excitement, watching a video of these precious little ones receiving "their gift." It brought tears to my eyes as you heard each volunteer hand a gift to a child and say, "Jesus loves you." That ministry really opened up our kid's minds to other children in need. Recently, I read about something called, "The Shepherd's Pouch." The idea is that each child earns their own money and stores it in their own pouch. When they've met their giving goal, they bring it to us and ask us to give it to a charity of their choice. It helps them to be in tune with other people's needs around them, and hopefully it will cause them to look for opportunities to help.
Mary sewed her own little pouch.
Our prayer is that these little ideas will help cultivate a spirit of giving, and grow with them into adulthood. It has been neat to see the kid's excitement about it, and really precious to talk with them about their ideas. (oh, and it's always nice to have the extra help around the house, too. :o)