Swinging From The Christmas Lights: Part 2

At Christmas, who has time to stop for peace? We've got just a few ideas we'd like to share with you on how to do just that. Here's part 2 of our Christmas series...

Read Part 1 Here

#2 Make Giving The Focus.

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I (Sissy) remember sitting with the Sears wish book every year and making my Christmas list to hand to my mom and dad.  Today’s kids are online creating their own lists on their ipods they can email to their parents.  Times have changed, but the hearts of kids haven’t.  “I want.”  You will hear that phrase more times than you would care to count in the next few weeks. 

If your child makes a Christmas list this year for what they’d like to get, help them make one for what they’d like to give, as well.  And come up with family gifts.  Be creative in ways you can make a difference as a family.  We’re all huge advocates for organizations like Angel Tree and Samaritan’s Purse that are giving to kids in need.  But you know families in need down the street, too.  Have your children be a part of the process.  Who are your friends or family members who are struggling financially?  Or maybe have suffered a loss emotionally? 

One of my favorite Christmas memories was a Christmas Eve dinner with my mom, sister and grandmother.  My uncle was supposed to come to our house with his children, too.  But, for probably the fourth or fifth year in a row, he didn’t show.  I remember sitting at our great big table with the china and crystal and watching my grandmother shove her food around her plate dejectedly.  She was so hurt.  And the four of us looked pitiful sitting at this beautiful table for ten all by ourselves.  About fifteen minutes into our meal, the doorbell rang.  There stood a family who are like family to us—my mom’s best friend, her husband, their five kids and spouses.  They were laughing and caroling and brought a warmth and joy to our home that the four of us could never have drummed up that night.  It was Christmas.

You can bring that kind of Christmas to families and individuals all around you.  And your kids can be a part of the joy.  They know other kids who are sad and can leave them anonymous gifts on their doorstep.  You could carol and take cookies to a family who is sad.  You can make a difference.  They can make a difference.  And that kind of giving will mean more to them, in the long run, than anything they can find online (or in a Sears wish book).

Share an idea that has allowed you to enjoy more connectedness in the Christmas season, and has allowed your family to experience Christmas in a different way. 

Part 3 Tomorrow: Rethink Christmas Morning

Part 1: Stop, Drop and Be Grateful