Here’s my great Christmas confession:
- We don’t do Santa.
- We don’t have a real tree.
- The very small amount of gifts that my children get from us generally come from a thrift store.
It’s not how I was raised. My sister and I always received a huge pile of presents, a few of those from “Santa.” But where are those gifts now? Except for our original Nintendo, which is happily housed with my husband and me, I have no idea. A lot of those gifts got great love: Barbies, Cabbage Patch dolls, board games. But I don’t know that our Christmases would have suffered without half of those things we wished for on long lists.
Nowadays, I prefer to keep the focus on Jesus’ gift. This year, my kids (4 and almost 2) and I will be going through Truth in the Tinsel, an Advent e-book that guides them through Scripture while we make fun ornaments. We’re also opening a Jesus-focused Christmas book every night and reading it together.
As for presents, they’ll get plenty from their two sets of grandparents, being that they’re the only grandchildren on both sides. We’ve encouraged them not to overdo it, though, because our kids already have so. many. toys. Experiential gifts are my favorites, and art supplies are basically “consumables” for little ones.
I hope my 4-year-old will be able to help me pick out some gifts that give to others, too, and start to understand that others around the world have needs far greater than ours. We start impressing this idea with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and continue throughout the holidays.
Here are some of my favorite gifts that give to others!
- For $100, you can give a family in need a goat and two chickens through World Vision. This provides a family with goat’s milk and eggs – and the families that receive them are asked to pass along chicks to other families.
- For just $9, you can feed a hungry baby for a week through Samaritan’s Purse. It’s Gift 40 in their catalog.
- Any donation is appreciated through Compassion’s fund to help provide education fees for children in need.
- These fun paper bead necklaces are $25, hand-crafted by women in Kenya, and help support Mercy House Kenya.
- Buy an adorable cupcake bib for $6 on Etsy, help support relief efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
- $25 from each $50 plate purchase of this cute, recycled glass plate goes to support City Harvest in NYC, an organization that raises money to feed those in need.
Do you have any favorite gifts that give back?