The following is a guest post from contributing writer, Amy.
I don’t know about you, but my children are saturated.
Saturated with the need for things. The need for more. We rarely allow them to watch television, so this idea isn’t coming from commercials. As I leave for the grocery store, they ask if I will be bringing home a prize. What?!?!
So, where do they get this? Is it from seeing other children’s things? Or is it an innate desire to want? To crave?
I have these same feelings. I see a great pair of shoes and I want them. Sometimes, I even feel entitled (gasp!) to have them. And while I contemplate that incredible footwear, someone, somewhere is hungry. Or without electricity. Or in need of a pair of shoes… simply because the ones they have are unwearable.
And while buying a pair of shoes is not a sin, I do believe we need to stop and think. Are those shoes a need or a want? Have I saved for them? Will I be giving up something else so that I can have these?
Whether or not we purchase these, our children see what we do. They see if we impulsively grab something off of the shelves, or if we have made a point to set money aside for something.
They see us when we take… and when we give.
This giving season, our family is taking it a step beyond giving money in Sunday school. There is a local family in need of many things, including clothing, food, and toys. The girls are really excited about the prospect of helping this family.
In years past, we, as a family, have each chosen an “angel” from our local Angel Tree. The girls have a really hard time choosing just one apiece (Abby Grace wouldn’t mind if we took every one!), and then spend even longer choosing a gift for that child. We try to make that particular shopping trip only about the Angel Tree children, to make a point that we are doing something for someone else, rather than ourselves. The same goes when we purchase toys for our local toy run. The girls go nuts picking out just the “right” toys for both girls and boys. Another option is to participate in the Toys for Tots program.
Another great way to involve your family in this season of giving is to “adopt” a family through the Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family Program. Let your children help you set a budget, make a list, go shopping, and then deliver. This is such an easy way to show your children love for someone else.
I love the idea of having a Christmas Jar. In fact, I wish I had started this earlier! I really cannot wait to share with the girls how Christmas Jars work. I am quite sure they will be racing around the house looking for spare change for it! Personally, I have a family in mind, but definitely will involve them in praying for whomever might receive the money we are saving (my girls are quite opinionated!).
Rice Bowls is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide food for orphans in the name of Christ. They feed over 1,500 kids every year. Rice Bowls provides the sponsored orphanage their food budget so they can buy fresh food locally and support their community. And while Rice Bowls is geared toward organizations, you can absolutely do it as a family. We have not done Rice Bowls, but it is on our to-do list for 2012.
If you are unsure of how/whom to give to locally, consider Operation Christmas Child. This is a simple way to give to a child in need. If you are in need of ideas of what to pack, the OCC website has a list of suggested items, as well as, what to avoid.
No matter who, what, or how you give, remember for Whom it is you give. In the end, all of this is to bring glory to His Name.
If you’re a blogger, feel free to link up your giving post here. Don’t have a blog? You can leave a comment below with your giving ideas. I invite everyone to participate.
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