For as long as I can remember, Christmas has always been about gifts, and spending time with family (even if you didn’t want to). You were obligated to see every family member, and you should always have a gift for them, even if you could not afford it. I remember years, when we were barely making it, but there was still an emphasis on gifts, because they made people happy.
Although, I have changed in many ways, I still have that gift mentality; however, I want to change Christmas, so our children can experience the true meaning of the season.
My children are only 3 and 5 years old, but they are already developing that mindset of instant gratification, and needing to have everything they want. I will admit we have been a big cause of their entitlement mindset, which is why it is our job to change it. We want them to be grateful for all they are blessed with, instead of expecting and taking it for granted.
This is our second year doing a gift drive for a local Crisis Center For Domestic Violence. While we do not get into specifics with the kids, we tell them we are helping Santa, by bringing gifts to women and children, who had to leave their homes and would not have Christmas without our help. Beth is VERY proud of her part in this, and talks about how proud God is when we help others. Anne is happy to do as her sister does, but does not really understand yet.
These are the gifts we collected the past 2 years:
When the girls are older, we will involve them in other ways, perhaps even volunteering our time to help out at the center. When the time comes, they may be drawn to helping others in different ways, and we will let them lead the way, but for now this is how we help.
We are thankful for the family and friends, who contribute and help us teach the girls the true meaning of Christmas. While we ask that the shelter not recognize our donation, we take pictures every year, so as the girls grow-up they can see the ways they have helped others. Our wish is that one day we will have a wonderful (and large) scrapbook, of all the love we have put out into the world.
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