Being a parent is pretty much awesome. It is fun to get to teach your kids all kinds of stuff about life. (I LOVE getting the opportunity to teach them social graces like how to send a thank you card, what a RSVP is, rules at a potluck, and how to properly go through a buffet line.)
And during the Christmas season the topic of giving and generosity comes up often as we snuggle around our tree reading all of our Christmas books.
I’ve told my kids often – when you have the opportunity to be generous – ALWAYS CHOOSE GENEROSITY. What I mean by this with them is to always be willing to give if you have it. Because it is always better to give than to receive.
I guess one of them was listening, because just last week they gathered up their Christmas money that they’ve been saving up and working for ALL YEAR LONG to go Christmas shopping with their daddy. A homeless man came up to the window of the car and my four-year-old pulled out ALL HIS Christmas money, that he had been saving to use to buy gifts, out of his pocket and rolled down the back seat window before anyone knew what he was doing, and just handed all of his money to him. Granted, my four-year-old did not know the difference between a $5 bill, $10 bill, and a $1 bill.
So that was a bit of a difficult teaching moment because we were happy that he was so willing to give, but we also needed to teach him how to manage his money a bit, because when they got to the store he still wanted to be able to buy gifts for his siblings, but he had used all his money already.
So, this sparked some thought in me. I needed to help guide them on giving. I want to model for them how to be generous, thankful, and thoughtful. Those three qualities make for a pretty swell adult. When you find friends like that who are thoughtful and thankful – HANG ON TO THEM! They are keepers! 🙂
Every time we pass by the salvation army bell in front of stores the kids start digging in my purse looking for some change and every time we pass by a homeless person they are scouring our vehicle looking for something to give away.
So, I thought we could go ahead and have some things PREPARED this season to give, so that they don’t end up just giving my purse away with my drivers license and all in it! (Because they would!)
We made a Christmas Blessing Bag to be able to give to strangers this holiday season. During this time of year, it is VERY COMMON to see those who have hit on hard times asking for help. As we are in town, there are homeless people around every corner. I don’t want my kids to just turn their head and pretend it doesn’t exist, I want them to be compassionate.
So, we went shopping for a Christmas blessing bag together.
- McDonald’s Arch Card
- Candy Cane
- Homemade Christmas Card (made by the kids)
- Christmas Chocolate (Because good chocolate is always a treat!)
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Travel Shampoo
- Trail Mix
As we were shopping for stuff, the kids wanted to grab everything in the store!
We wanted to “theme” these with Christmas since that is the current season we are in and the McDonald’s Arch cards were perfect because they were very pretty and seasonal. Not to mention, the Golden Arches are around every corner, so it should be easy for someone to be able to use their card and enjoy a FREE HOT MEAL at McDonald’s.
We had a lot of fun gathering up and shopping for the supplies to make our Christmas Blessing Bags. I really LOVE doing life with my group of kiddos.
The kids signed Christmas cards with a note of encouragement and included the arch cards inside their card.
After we gathered up our supplies we came home and had our packing party and got everything ready for the bags.
They are now loaded in our car and ready to give! We’ve given away two already!
I love seeing the kids get excited about giving.
Oh, and if you like the McDonald’s Arch Cards idea, you should check out my friend Amy’s blog. She made a SUPER CUTE printable that you could put with an Arch Card to hand out!