This year for Christmas the daycare kids and I "adopted" a family to buy presents for. Instead of me buying the kids/families presents I put that money towards this family. I hope that I can give the kids a glimpse of what it's like to serve others and to put other's needs before their own. I know they are small and by nature we are egocentric, but I think if we start to teach them at a young age it may be easier to do later on in life.
Last Monday, myself, Twyla and Mary ventured to Target with 13 little bambinos. The family that we were buying presents for has three children so each of us took a "team" and shopped for one specific child. It was so neat to see the joy and excitement they had shopping for the other children. I was so impressed that they didn't ask for anything either. I gave each team a specific amount of money they could spend, so the kids needed to be thrifty and get the best bang for their buck.
This afternoon the family stopped over to pick up their gifts. In the morning, the kids and I baked peanut butter blossom cookies and decorated sugar cookies. We designed a large "Merry Christmas" poster to hang outside the door to welcome them into our home. When the family arrived we had cookies and hot cocoa and the kids introduced themselves to each other. I asked if they could each open one gift, and the mom agreed. My kids were excited to watch them and told them who shopped for who. The kids spent the remainder of the time playing together. After the family left, I debriefed with the kids and asked them how it felt to give to the other kids, and they all had the same response---Good/Happy. I went on saying that their joyful giving delighted the LORD. It warmed my heart knowing how thankful and appreciative the family was. That is the true meaning of Christmas. God GAVE us the ultimate gift...his one and only SON. I challenge you this Christmas season to bless someone that wouldn't expect it. It doesn't have to be a monetary gift, it could be helping them with a project, cleaning, praying for them, calling them to say how much you appreciate them or love them, etc.
I leave you with this...
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!"
2 Corinthians 9:7