This time of year, when we are celebrating Christmas, we turn our attention to a variety of purchased gifts in all shapes, sizes, and prices. So many gifts, all wrapped in beautiful paper ready to be given to those we love! Do we ever think of the gifts that we can give in another way? Are the only gifts we can give wrapped up packages or can they be so much more?
Most gifts that come in beautifully wrapped packages are temporary. What if we considered the gifts we give differently? Perhaps, giving the gift of friendship to a co-worker or elderly neighbor, or that new mom that just moved next door? Can we teach our children to give those types of gifts too? Those gifts given in boxes and giftbags are wonderful however, when we can give of ourselves and teach our children to do the same, we are giving so much more than the latest toy or electronic gadget. Giving friendship can change someone’s life for the better and there is no greater feeling then to know you have someone to call “friend”. Teaching our children to be a good friend is a gift they will take with them throughout their lifetime.
Think of giving the gift of time to your family, spending quality time making memories and traditions is something our children can hold on to and build upon as they grow up. There is simply no replacement for the gift of time in the lives of our loved ones and others around us. Spend time reading or cooking together, or just talking and listening to the hearts of those you love. Time is an essential gift that we all need from the people in our lives. Can we teach our children to be present by being present ourselves? Think of the gift of time and all it means to those around you. This holiday season try to find ways to make “the gift of time” at the top of your list.
Kindness and generosity are wonderful gifts we can give and teach our children to do the same. There is no substitute for kindness. Think about how spreading kindness can change the world around us. Take the time to be kind not only to those we know but also to the strangers we encounter in our everyday lives. A simple smile or thank you can mean so much to someone. Our children are always watching! Think of generosity and ways we can give that gift this season and beyond. There are so many people that need help and would be appreciative of the gift of generosity. Kindness and generosity are gifts we can give and teach our children to give even from a very young age. Get them involved in finding ways to give that gift this season. There are endless opportunities!
After thinking of gifts in a different way than just things wrapped in brightly colored paper, let’s think about what the best gift is we can give. The best GIFT ever given was not wrapped in paper with a pretty bow, it was wrapped in cloth and found in a manger. All those many years ago GOD gave the best gift of Jesus. That gift was given for one reason: love. Let us follow that example and make the best gift we give to others be LOVE. An example is found in the Bible in John 3:16, it says” For God so LOVED the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” God gave because he LOVED each one of us. Let us teach our children to love and give the gift of love to others not just at Christmas but all year long.
Merry Christmas from your CLA family!