Most families around the world give and receive gifts around Christmas time.
Do you feel like your family is more focused on giving or getting?
How many items does each child in your home receive?
In the fourth century St. Nicholas practiced the gift of giving. His gifts were small items.
In the tenth century gift giving had taken over the world.
Now gift giving in America is very big. Over 504 Billion dollars are spent each year.
The average person spends $801 dollars on gifts for friends and family each year.
Gift giving can be loads of fun. It can also be very stressful.
What to get each person is a struggle.
Wondering if the gift will be liked or if it will be returned.
How much to spend on each person.
Making sure each child has the same number of presents or the same amount of money spent on each one.
It can cause unneeded chaos in your life.
This Year Lets Scale Back And Let IT GO!
I want to challenge everyone to scale back this year. Back off on all the gift giving. Focus on what truly matters.
There are so many around your circle of friends, neighbors, city, and the world that are less fortunate.
How Many Gifts Should Each Child Get
We have focused many years on each child getting the same amount of presents.
Than we started focusing on how much money we spent on each child.
When you have multiple children this can be a job!
The past few years we have focused on 3 items!
Yes, 3 items per child.
They get to make a list of these 3 items.
1 thing they want.
1 thing they need.
1 thing that brings them closer to God.
This works great in our home. It keeps the list shorter and more realistic.
Don’t get me wrong we still get the list at times with 50 items or items that cost hundreds of dollars. You know the list that is made for someone with a money tree in the back yard.
We do not charge Christmas in our home. We save all year for it. We put back a specific amount each week in a special account and that is taken out at Christmas time. We try to teach our children that there is a limit.
We want them to realize that some children get nothing. Some children would be happy with a baby doll or a pair of new jeans. It hurts to see how much we have and how little others have.
What To Focus On
Lets focus on how we can do for others not just what we want to get and what we want to give to our family.
You could help a neighbor by baking them something special, making a special gift for them, or caroling through your neighborhood.
How can you reach out to others to make their lives better. Maybe you could adopt or sponsor a child through a program across the world or one in your home town. Pick an angel off the angel tree. Pay someones electric bill that is struggling. Take an elderly person something nice or take them shopping. Maybe even sit and spend time with them. Donate toys to children that are needy.
What God Says
Matthew 25: 37-40
“Then these righteous ones will reply, Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”