12 Days of Christmas Parenting
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner! This time last year, I posted a holiday blog tour called: “The 12 Days of Christmas Parenting” on the blogs some of my favorite people. This year, I’ll be posting those articles on my blog for those who either missed it last year – or need a reminder for some practical ways to lead your kids during this busy season!
I’ll share tips for parents on how to navigate the difficult traps of the holidays, and create moments with life long impact. We’ll talk about 12 ideas to combat ingratitude, selfishness and impatience — and encourage generosity in your children, especially through the holidays.
I’m kicking things off today with a post that appeared on Michael Hyatt’s blog. He is a speaker and the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson publishers. More importantly, he and Gail are the parents of 5 wonderful girls, and are enjoying being grandparents to 5 little ones. Let’s get started!
1. Growing Generosity in Your Kids at Christmas
Ahhh, Christmas. It just may be the most wonderful time of the year. Every year, however, parents are reminded of how much our culture has impacted the minds of our children. For instance, we all talk about Christmas being a time of giving — but let’s face it, the first thing kids want to do in December is to make their own Christmas list of what they’ll get, not give.
First, why not start a tradition — along with their own “wish list,” your kids make out a list of the gifts they plan to give away to others — to people they know and perhaps ones they don’t know. The gifts can be ones they buy with their own money, or some of their own possessions they treasure.
Let’s take it a step further. What if for every gift they put on their wish list, they have to match it with a gift they plan to give away — one of their own toys, dolls, electronic devices, or games? This may just balance their “giving and receiving” experience a bit more. Then, they select a family less fortunate, and make an anonymous drop-off to that family. (Remember
“ding dong ditch”?)
I know of a mom and dad who had their kids go through all their toys one December and make two piles. The first pile would include the toys they planned on giving away; the second, toys they felt were worth keeping. (This made room for the new toys they’d soon receive on Christmas.) The clincher was, this mom and dad talked about sacrificial giving, and shared how they planned to give one of their cars to a needy family. Then, they had their children give away the pile of toys they had planned to keep. Sacrifice is true generosity. It was hard for a few moments, but unforgettable in the end. Those kids talk about that incredible experience four years later.
Jesus reminds us, “This poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned…” (Mark 12:43-44)
Join us tomorrow as we discuss ways to develop patience in your kids (and maybe yourself) during the holidays.
What can you do this Christmas to teach generosity to your kids?