The countdown to Christmas has begun in earnest and you’re feeling pretty good. The Christmas tree has a growing pile of presents underneath it, the house is decorated and the cookies are baked. You have created a magical Christmas for your family. Congratulations, but there is still one more step before Christmas truly becomes magical.
Helping your children figure out what they really want this Christmas and celebrating family traditions are two building blocks to creating a magical Christmas, but there is one final ingredient—giving. There is so much emphasis on receiving during the holidays, especially for children, so we must balance it with some intentional giving.
Invoke the Spirit of Christmas and Focus on Giving
Christmas means more to us than a visit from Santa Claus; it also celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in our home. While I certainly respect that Christmas may mean something different to you, I hope we can all agree that it symbolizes a time of love and sharing. Our family is very blessed, and one way we honor the birth of Jesus is to share our blessings with others.
Our Adopt-A-Family Annual Tradition
We give back throughout the year as part of our family share goals, but our annual Christmas sharing goal is very special to all of us. Every Christmas we “adopt” a local family and create a magical Christmas for them. The girls help me shop for gifts and food for their Christmas celebration. Often times their gifts are practical needs, which is great as I want to give the family the things they truly need, but we take it a step further without spending additional money.
Because I always choose a family with girls close to the same age as Lauren and Taylor, I ask them to go through their own toys and clothes and select items to share. They rummage through their closets and handpick things they want to give to the girls, then we bundle everything up, including the gingerbread house we decorated for them. Now that Lauren and Taylor are older, I even take them with me to deliver the gifts and food.
Lauren and Taylor always become fast friends with our “adopted” family’s girls, and they are eager to show them all the clothes and toys they chose for them. They make the girls try on the new-to-them jackets or clothes and happily introduce them to their new toys. Often times there is a language barrier between me and the Mom, but we still stand side-by-side, never speaking, with tears in our eyes as we watch our children play together. This is what makes Christmas truly magical to me—our ability to make Christmas magical for someone else.
How You Can Give Back and Make Christmas Magical For Someone Else
There are a variety of ways you can share your blessings with others this Holiday Season. Make it a new family tradition and involve your kids by sharing with them why giving back is so important to you. Be generous and give from the heart, but don’t get carried away and create debt for yourself either.
- Have your kids choose a child from an Angel Tree and buy a Christmas present(s) for them
- Buy a new toy(s) to donate at a Toys for Tot Drive
- Take up a collection of new toys and deliver them to a children’s or regular hospital
- Volunteer and help serve a meal at a soup kitchen
- Donate gently used toys and clothes to Goodwill, The Salvation Army or a local shelter
- Ask your pastor or preacher if there is a family in need in your Church that you can anonymously support
- Ask your school principal if there is a family in need that you can anonymously support
- Bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to a nursing home and spend the afternoon visiting with the residents
- Bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to your local firehouse and police station
- Invite someone without family nearby to celebrate Christmas with you
- Go grocery shopping and buy food to donate to your local Food Bank
- Create a care package for a soldier overseas (I know it won’t make it before Christmas but whenever they receive it, they will appreciate it)
- Make a special Christmas donation to your favorite charity or organization
This is a just a small sampling of some ways you can give back. It doesn’t matter how big or small the gesture is, it makes a difference to the recipient.
Wishing You a Magical Christmas This Year
Now you know my ingredients to creating a Magical Christmas, now it’s your turn to share how you give back or make Christmas magical in your home.
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.
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