Some people love the whole decorative commercial side of Christmas and get excited when they see the very first Christmas decoration in the shops. Usually the first decorations in the shops are are the day after Halloween. For some Christmas is a very religious time of year and for other’s it is about time with family and yummy food. I respect how people choose to celebrate Christmas and also what they believe. For me I am some where in between all these. I want to spend time with the family and for my kids to have fun. At the same time I want them to learn a deeper meaning of Christmas beyond getting presents. I am not religious though, as I’ve said before I am more spiritual. How can I make Christmas all of these thing for my family? For me I think teaching the kids about giving and helping those in need is something important and that I associate with the spirit of Christmas. Although it is good to always be giving and help those in need regardless of whether it is Christmas or not.
Leading up to Christmas we usually do a clean out at home and get rid of things the kids no longer want or use. We donate it all to charity. These days it seems kids have so much. Mine have a lot and I tried not to go over board but between all their birthdays, Christmas and even second had stuff we are given. They have just ended up with heaps. The kids enjoy picking out the things they want to give away.
Over the last couple of years we have participated in Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes. The shoe box must contain the following 6 things; something to wear, something to play with, something for school, something to love, something special and something for personal hygiene. It is a great opportunity for the kids to learn that Christmas is also about giving and that there are kids in the world that aren’t as well off as they are. My 3 girls all love going shopping to pick out stuff to buy for the shoe boxes. You don’t have to spend a fortune. Last year I went to the Hot Dollar Shop and this year to Kmart. They also enjoy packing their shoe boxes and dropping off to the local drop off point. When Phoenix is a bit bigger, he can join in too.
This year for the first time I also started giving the girls pocket money each week which they put in their money box. We opened their money boxes and brought their money along to Kmart where they could buy something for themselves and also a present for each other for Christmas. They were so excited to open their money boxes and put their savings into their little purses and handbags. I try to encourage them to give to each other. To think about what they can give and not always what they can get. It is pretty normal for kids to think about presents and what they can get. I find it nice to briefly get them thinking about giving to some one else. Maybe they will remember when they are older. They at least had some fun shopping followed by a cupcake each. It was a nice morning for all of us.