My husband and I have made it a priority to teach our daughter (and to live in the habit of) giving all year long. It is a normal part of our lifestyle as I believe giving is the key to prosperity. We make it a priority to live with our eyes open to the needs of those that "coincidentally" come into our lives- although, we don't believe in coincidences.
But, specifically, during the season, I organize a "Operation Northwest Christmas Child" where the cell leaders at our church nominate families where we know there is a need. And the Sundays leading up to Christmas, we do anonymous child adoptions. Families who want to give take a boy or a girl, and buy gifts for that child and bring them to the church where we then deliver the gifts to the families- totally as a surprise to them.
Operation Northwest Christmas Child was a huge success last year, and we had over a hundred children who we provided Christmas for.
We also throw a Christmas party with our friends, specifically with the intent of inviting those around us that are alone and have no family or friends to celebrate with, and seeking out new people to invite. It is an awesome night where we get to meet new friends and spread some cheer. And these usually turn into longer-term relationships. It is all about sharing.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! And this is part of why. Everyone seems to be in the spirit of giving, and this is what traditions are made of. My husband comes from a culture where Christmas is not that big of a deal. And so, he really has struggled with the whole thing~ and what a big deal it is to me. But now that we have children, and he sees the look in their eyes on Christmas morning, and how much fun we have decorating the house and the tree and driving around looking at the decor, I think he is warming up to it. We are trying to incorporate new things into our traditions to include the stuff he was brought up with. For instance, 3 kings day is in January where you put your shoes out and the 3 kings come to your house and fill them with little gifts. Where he comes from, Baby Jesus brings the gifts, not Santa Claus.
I am definiately looking for creative ideas in teaching our children about the "reason for the season"! Last year, I purchased a book by Lisa Welchel, (remember BLAIR from The Facts of Life show?) she wrote a GREat RESOURCE for this.
Here is the description from her website: CLICK HERE to buy the book from her
"Redeeming the Meaning of Christmas... Have you discovered that Jesus sometimes gets lost in the middle of the hustle and bustle of His birthday party? Would you like to be able keep your children’s focus on Jesus and be able to join them in the wonder of the celebration?
For each of the twenty-four days preceding Christmas, The ADVENTure of Christmas serves as a fun and handy guide that describes the true meaning hidden in your most cherished traditions. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree will become opportunities to share how these traditions relate to Jesus’ birth. The ADVENTure of Christmas recaptures the delightful essence of this beloved season, giving reasons to joyfully celebrate for years to come."I plan on utilizing this resource this year as my Vivia is now old enough to begin learning about this stuff.