A New Way To Look At Giving!

Anyone else sitting by a cozy (digital) fire listening to Christmas music? Yes I'm thinking about Christmas already and I know it's only July! I miss the cold and cozy evenings as a family, the peaceful spirit of the season, celebrating our precious Jesus' birthday, reading heart warming Christmas stories, sipping hot cocoa and making memories. 

Christmas is a time when we have an opportunity to give. We give because God gave the most extravagant gift of all, His one and only son.

John 3:16 For God so loves the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Bible talks a lot about giving but I've almost been dreading the actual Christmas season because of all the stores screaming at you anywhere you go, 'Buy This, Buy That!' So I've been enjoying the music and the fire and I have been thinking a lot about gifts for the kids. I was wondering if we should even be buying them some or if we should look at giving gifts differently because it feels like we can do without more stuff.

I like to buy 'practical' gifts for my kids (that's what my husband calls them) like something someone needs or really wants. I can do without having a huge amount of presents and spending money on unnecessary things (I have a money saving personality). My husband on the other hand just loves to spoil everyone! Which is not a bad thing, there just has to be moderation. An article I recently read hit home for me, to actually be intentional about what we are buying. 

Our kids need tools not just toys. It could be age appropriate tools but really it is anything that could help our children develop into well rounded adults. There are many great things out there that are both practical and fun, as well as many ideas for family bonding time. They make great gifts and can serve for more than a few days or weeks after Christmas morning. 

Toys: Dolls, cars, legos, balls, play store and money, action figures(things that inspire imagination), nature toys(binoculars, magnifying glass, bug collecting kits), kitchen sets, tool table, puzzles, creative kits(knitting, crocheting, sowing, painting), books, journals and learning toys for little ones etc...

Outdoor Play: Swings, picnic table, sandbox, sport related items, gardening tools, tree house, skate boards and wagons. 

Family Fun: Bowling shoes, skates, roller blade, bicycles, skis, snowboards, sleds, trampoline, board games, boogie boards, snorkeling gear and reading bean bags for everyone

Practical: Clothes, shoes, accessories, snow gear, bedding and new things for their rooms. 

Anything that helps grow and expand the imagination or makes memories with the most important people in their lives is truly priceless. You can mix and match the categories as well but I'm sure you all know what I mean. I tried to think of things related to all seasons and weather but if I missed anything please share!

I've read of a family that has a tradition that when a child turns 5, they give them a tool box and over the years on birthdays or Christmas give a tool to put into it. Over time as they get older they have all the tools they need with them!

Our children will accept what they are taught. If we teach them the correct way to expect and receive gifts they will always be exited, grateful and thank us even more when they are grown and have children of their own! Scott, my father-in-law once said "how you read to a child determines if they will grow up to like reading or not, if you make it fun and exciting they will enjoy it". I think it's the same in giving gifts, if you're excited and follow up with making some great memories with them, then they will appreciate your gifts all the more!