… we wanted to have a different kind of Christmas.
Weeks before Christmas I asked for ideas on how to make Jesus the focus. Not gifts. Or glitter.
And oh my, y’all did not disappoint.
P.S. If you haven’t read this post, and want wonderful ideas for next Christmas, you really should.
And so, at the beginning of December we purposed to spend time together as a family, every night, talking about Jesus.
We implemented a “no screens” rule between 6 and 10 PM. It was a smidge challenging.
We read our Advent book nightly and then spent time just hanging out, playing games, reading.
We also decided to buy for Christmas a little differently.
We set a dollar amount, according to the age of the child, and helped each of them shop for themselves.
And, because I was able to get the kids exactly what they wanted within their budget, without having to stress over what didn’t get, it was actually a lot more fun.
They later commented that it was even more fun because they knew they were getting exactly what they wanted.
We also gave each child a dollar amount equal to what they spent on themselves to spend on someone else.
Our purpose in this was to, in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas, take the focus off of what they were getting. And put it more on what they were giving.
Selected charities were kept secret from other siblings to encourage introspection into what was really on their hearts to support. And, unbeknownst to each other, a few of them ended up choosing similar charities.
Tallula and Isabelle chose to donate to caring for dogs. “I want dogs to have toys”, was Tallula’s desire this Christmas.
Poppy wanted to give to a friend in the hospital with her son. So we sent some Christmas cards and a little Starbucks love their way.
Vivienne wanted to help fish. Pet fish to be exact. Unable to locate a charity that supports pet fish (surprise!), we did find a charity that cares for coral reefs which house 25% of all marine life.
Jude and Sophie wanted to help orphans in China and will be sponsoring one little precious peanut at Pearl River Outreach.
And Dalton and Asher did, too. They chose Lifeline to support with their donations.
Zach chose to give to Doctors Without Borders.
And Victoria chose the Representation Project.
Each of the kids stood up, day after Christmas, and shared about what or who they chose to support. And why it was important to them.
Our hope is to encourage them to consider giving over receiving. Especially as we celebrate the arrival of the ultimate Gift.
Because God is the One who gave all.
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Happy Sunday, y’all.