Since Adeline was born, I've attempted to be intentional about teaching her to have a giving spirit, especially during the season of Christmas. Christmas has turned into such a gift-centered holiday, especially for children, and I want her to understand that's there's FAR more to celebrate as we prepare for Christmas than the presents she'll receive.
As we decorate the house, buy gifts, and enjoy all the festivities, I'm trying to teach Addie that all of this preparation is in celebration of the birth of Christ. The jubilation around this holiday should come from the fact that Christ had finally arrived and His course to save us was put into motion. On the night He was born, our lives changed forever. With a simple profession of faith in Him, we are cleansed of our sins and promised an eternity in Heaven. In honor of this gift God has given us, one of our family traditions is to offer a birthday gift to Jesus, by giving to others in need.
The last two Christmas' we've chosen to give to Families Helping Families, a Christian program I love. It's so simple--if a family needs help at Christmastime, they post a request. Then you pick the family you want to help and work with them directly. If you are interested in FHF, please visit the link above; you will be such a blessing to a family in need!
This year, we needed to do something a little easier on the wallet, so I asked Addie is she wanted to paint ornaments for children in the hospital or the elderly. She instantly chose the assisted living facility. Before kids, our Christmas tree often had a color scheme--now we just use the sentimental ones we've gathered from family and during vacations--so I have a ton of extra plain ball ornaments that we aren't using anymore. I decided to have Addie paint the ones we already had on hand, at no extra expense. Adeline spent a couple days decorating and thoroughly enjoyed the creative process (the poor people who get her few brown ornaments!). A little closer to Christmas, we'll take her to visit a care facility to mingle with the residents and pass out her gifts. I also plan to make Christmas cards with some cute phrase or poem about Christmas being about the celebration of Christ's birth.