Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Real Reason

Real Reason, blended family, step family, stepmom, step mothers, giving back, giving to others
A couple of years ago, we got Christmas wish lists from the older children. I kind of got angry in a way because everything was very expensive which I know usually happens when children become teenagers. We had a budget and most of the items they requested went over the budget we had to spend per child.  I started feeling like maybe we are all forgetting the real reason for Christmas. Not just the fact that Jesus was born in a manger on Christmas morning, the fact that Christmas is the season for giving to others.  Which made me do a lot of thinking about what can we do as a family that could help the less fortunate out.  For example, like going to a food bank and helping out or helping the Salvation Army hand out clothes for those who are in need.  I told my husband about my ideas and he agreed that we should do something.  I started searching on the internet for local food banks or Salvation Army and discovered that there are restrictions as far as the age limit for children, no child under 13 years of age can help out.  My youngest two children at the time were 8 & 9 years old.  Then I got discouraged because I wanted everyone in my family to participate, not just the older kids.  I just want my children and stepchildren to appreciate everything they get for Christmas and not take it for granted.  So instead of going to the food bank, I decided to do some other things that they could help out with.  Where they could learn about giving to others and sharing God’s love with others.  I created a list of ways we could help teach our children that Christmas is not all about toys and getting what they want, it’s about caring for others and giving to others.


Giving Back to Other’s List:
  • Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant that you are at or pay for someone’s food at a drive thru.
  • Pay for someone’s groceries at the grocery store.
  • Bake cookies, bread or pies and give them to your neighbors for Christmas.
  • Buy gifts for Families that are struggling to buy gifts for their kids. (See picture below)
  • Participate in Toys for Tots program. (http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx)
  • Send a care package to our troops overseas. (https://www.operationgratitude.com/)
  • Go help a family member out with something they need to be done around the house.
  • Take care of someone who is sick; send a care package to them along with homemade soup.
  • Help out at a local food bank or Salvation Army if you are able too.
  • Visit a local nursing home to sing Christmas carols and bring them each homemade cookies.
  • Have each child gather up toys and clothes they no longer play with and donate them to the Salvation Army. (https://satruck.org/)
  • Check with your local church to see about adopting a family to give presents and food too.
help a family in need
We helped a family that was in need of gifts for their kids for Christmas
There are many ways to show and teach your children who to give generously to others who are struggling and are in need of something.  I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that they are entitled to everything and that they get everything they ask for.  I want my children to have a heart for others and to really appreciate all that they have and not take anything for granted.
Have you taught your children to be selfless and good hearted? It’s never too late to start. Find a need and fill it and have your children be a part of it. 

I wonder what this country would be like if everyone did this at Christmas time and not dwelled on what we can get from others, but what we can give to others. That’s what Christmas is all about, just like a children’s book that I often read to my daycare kids titled: Pete the Cat saves Christmas and in the book it says “Give it your all, give it your all, At Christmas we give, so give it your all”. 
As I would like to say “Find a Need and Fill It”.

References:
Eric Litwin 2012. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. Harper Publishers.

22 comments:

  1. It all has to start with acknowledging the real reason for the season!

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  2. Wow. What a great list. We always try to give back during this time (and throughout the year as well).

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  3. I think this is a great list. I wanted to take the girls to volunteer at a senior home for a Christmas party, but something came up. I want them to see how blessed we are. Beautiful list! If something comes up I would love to come with you.

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  4. Looks like a list of great things for people to do :) Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Agreed - it's so important to give! I have been working to instill that in my kids since they were little.

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  6. great list. we sponsor a few families every year. my kids have more than they need and it's great to see them give.

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  7. This is a great list. We like to make a birthday to celbrate the birth of Christ each year as well.

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  8. all the great ideas that you have on how to give! :D

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  9. I love this. It is always a great idea to share helping others with kids.

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  10. It's definitely the season of giving. But you still run a household and a budget to follow. It would be great to have the kids understand that. And I think charity work is always one of the best ways to teach them about giving.

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  11. I've visited nursing homes and caroled before. It was so meaningful to them!

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  12. Those are absolutely wonderful ways to help out and give during the holidays. I only wish more people thought like you! Kuddos to you!

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  13. We love giving and give as much we can all year long, but especially during the holidays! - Jeanine

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  14. These are some great ideas! We try to do what we can throughout the year and not just at Christmas. This is a great list to start with if someone doesn't know where to start

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  15. I had someone pay for our dinner once and it was the best thing ever. It made my day! I would love to do it for somebody some day.

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  16. I was donate tons of stuff year round the season never ends.

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  17. I was donate tons of stuff year round the season never ends.

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  18. This is a great list and absolutely wonderful ways to help out!!

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  19. Great reminder! Feeling inspired in gratitude!

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  20. More people need to remember this.

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  21. These are such great ideas! My wife was just talking about sending a care package this week to troops. I like the ideas of helping with a food bank or visiting the elderly too.

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