Tag Archives: giving

Giving the Gift of Words

9 Dec

Day 9: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas

gift of words

Looking for a meaningful gift that is more valuable than anything you could buy? Consider giving the gift of words.

Our church did this last year and I was surprised by just how much it meant to those in my own family who received this simple expression of love. We made a set of cards (52 cards- one per week of the year) for each grandparent in our family. Each of our five family members wrote things such as “I love to hear you tell stories” or “I remember when you used to listen to me when I came home after school each day” or “You have been such an example of Jesus to me.”

We thought it would mean something to our loved ones, but had no idea just how much. They told us they didn’t realize that different things we wrote meant so much to us. They kept the cards and reread the notes throughout the year. One grandpa mixed them all together and each day read one of the cards. He said he didn’t even know if he had read them all yet. One grandma opened them all on the spot. She kept reading them all year.

Of all the things that our family has done for others, this was by far one of the most meaningful to the recipient. It also gave us the opportunity to stop and think of all the reasons we appreciate, admire and love those family members. Sometimes we forget to stop and tell people the important things. Consider taking the time this year to give an expression of love through your written words.

Supplies: small white cards with the words “You are a gift” printed in red, white coin envelopes, larger white envelope

Write a memory or something the child likes about the relative on the card. Place it in one of the coin envelopes. Have the entire family help do these creating 52 cards- one per week. For relatives on fixed incomes, consider putting gift cards or cash in some of the cards. Place all the cards in the larger envelope.

Christmas Generosity: Giving lists

6 Dec

Day 6: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas.

giving list 1 

Instead of wish lists make giving lists. Kids buy or make presents for each member of the family. If they buy them, have them earn the money doing small jobs around the house.

I’ve given out these lists at church so kids could take them home and complete them. Here is my son’s giving list from our kid’s ministry over 15 years ago.


Five Thoughts on Raising Generous Kids

5 Nov

Some basic thoughts about generosity as we enter the season of gratitude and thanksgiving:

1. Generosity means giving or sharing freely things you value. Material possessions, money, time, love, forgiveness, kindness are examples of things we value. Giving away a broken or unwanted toy. . . not so much.

2. Generous kids give with a positive spirit. Giving because Mom and Dad said they had to. . . yeah, doesn’t fit the generous category.

3. Generosity means that we give without thought of reward and without strings attached. The joy of giving is enough. We expect absolutely nothing in return. (Read The Rainbow Fish and talk about the joy he felt when he learned to share what he had with others.)

The rainbow fish

4. Giving is tied to empathy. Kids have to think about what someone else needs or wants in order to know what to give. If we give our kids everything they want. . . they will never know what it means to want. How in the world are they ever going to understand someone’s needs if they have never felt a little twinge of wanting something themselves? Don’t give your kids everything they want and maybe even let them wait a bit for something they need. (I’m not talking child abuse here, people.)

5. True generosity is going to mean some level of discomfort. It is ok to let our kids suffer in some way. . . not just ok- but necessary. If a child, in a moment of generosity, gives away a favorite toy- do NOT go buy another to replace it. They need to understand that suffering a bit is not going to kill them.

Raising generous kids in today’s culture can be hard. However, with perseverance and intentional actions. . . your kids learn the joy of giving.