It was a very sweet scene. Two little girls pouring over the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas gift catalog. Painstakingly considering every option as they decided how to spend the money that Tim and I had budgeted for them to bless some children in another part of the globe. “Look, you can buy fish for a pond! And a boat and even a donkey. Nana, how do you send honeybees through the mail?”
“How about a goat? Yes, you can get milk from a goat and children need milk. And look here, a little girl is riding on a goat! Let’s get a goat. They give milk and rides! Two good things that children need.”
In the end, when all of the viewing and oohing and choosing were done, Riley and Lydia selected a goat, a few chickens and some blankets for the children in need. And yet like all of us, in God’s economy, our granddaughters ended up receiving so much more than they gave. They got the privilege of helping someone in need and the joy of being able to share the abundance in which they live with someone less fortunate.
Christmas can be an overwhelming “me” fest for kids. Every manufacturer is using every means possible to convince them that they cannot be happy unless they have one more thing. It’s our job to be deliberate to make Christmas about giving to others. With our example and the experiences we can provide for the little ones, blessing others can become second nature to them. Even in small ways, children can be used by God to show the world a glimpse of Christ’s love.
As parents and grandparents, the habit of compassion and generosity is a gift we can give our children and grandchildren that will serve them well all of their lives. Our heavenly Father set the example for His own children when He gave us the greatest gift of all – His only Son.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
I John 3:1a
Here’s to girls, goats and good gifts,
Here are 10 ideas that will help encourage you and your family to make Christ and others the center of this holiday season.
- Participate in a clothing/coat/blanket drive or have your own.
- Take cards and flowers to a nursing home or veteran’s hospital.
- Help your kids save and earn money for Toys for Tots or Angel Tree.
- Fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.
- Choose a gift from the World Vision Gift Catalog.
- Sponsor a child through Food for the Hungry.
- Write a letter to a soldier, send a free postcard to soldier, email to soldier or send mail to an anonymous soldier.
- Sponsor a soldier’s family for the holidays.
- Clean out your closets, toy chest and cupboards for a food/clothing bank.
- Make any of the above the beginning of a way of life for you and your kids.