The Christmas catalogs have arrived in my mailbox. It’s hard to imagine that the same thing that can bring my kids such joy and excitement actually produces a slight sense of dread for their father. As they comb through the pages showcasing all of the season’s hottest toys, I realize yet again how hard it can be for young eyes to see the true meaning of Christmas in the middle of all the hoopla.
Christmas is the season of giving. It’s a time to celebrate the gift God gave us – His only Son (John 3:16). It’s a time to continue in the tradition of St. Nicholas, who loved Jesus so much that he wanted to give gifts to children in need. It’s a time to put aside your own desires and “in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
But how? In a Christmas culture that focuses on getting, how do we focus on giving and how do we start our children on the right path? What do we do if our kids just don’t “get it?”
Christmas is a time of year when the Salvation Army’s missions shines the brightest. We focus on meeting physical needs – food, shelter…and hope. We focus on reaching those who need us most – giving gifts with no strings attached, simply as a way to say “God loves you.”
Here are three ways through our work this Christmas that you can open the eyes of your children to the joy of giving this holiday season.
- Volunteer with your child this Christmas. We have a couple of options for this: ring a bell at a Red Kettle location or staff an Angel Tree table.
- Adopt an Angel from the Angel Tree. This is a great way to be another child’s Christmas. Involve your children in the shopping process. One fun way to do it is to adopt a child the same age as yours – they can really get into selecting gifts that they would enjoy. Find a location at the mall.
- Donate to the Red Kettle when you pass by or give to the online Red Kettle. Every little bit helps. Perhaps children can earn a little extra for the cause by doing chores around the house.
The options are endless, and the choice is yours. It doesn’t matter how you decide to involve your children this Christmas, just don’t miss the opportunity. Christmas is the season of giving, not getting. But, if we aren’t intentional during this time, we can’t expect our kids to “get it.”
Written by- Brent Rinehart