This time of year is so fun! The holidays surround us, everything is decorated, Christmas songs are playing, and there are tons of parties and celebration going on. While I love all of these things and participate in most all of them, I think my perspective has shifted a bit since I have had my girls. It is no doubt that my husband and I love to buy things for our children (shopping for them was the most fun of all!), however we also want to make sure that they have a heart of blessing others and not being greedy or selfish. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the hype of the holidays that we forget there are people around us who need encouragement and help in some way. My girls are still very young (3 1/2 & almost 2) so it has been interesting trying to show them how to love on and serve others.
One thing that we love doing is baking. My girls, especially my oldest, love pulling up a chair beside me in the kitchen, and helping dump all the ingredients in the bowl, as well taste tasting! After we have baked we usually package up some of what we baked and give it to our neighbors. As soon as I start packaging up some of the goodies, my oldest says, “Mommy, are those for Grandma?!” (We have a kind friend in our neighborhood they lovingly refer to as Grandma ;)). She gets a kick out of being able to deliver them to “Grandma” herself. I love that she enjoys giving her yummy food away instead of wanting to keep it for herself. We do the same when we make a big casserole dish or big pot of soup! There is nothing like receiving some home cooked goods to brighten up your day! I don’t say this to toot my own horn, but to show how I go about trying to teach my kids to serve others. It’s so simple, but a blessing to everyone involved.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to teach our little ones these important character qualities we’d like them to adopt as their own one day. While they are receiving so many physical gifts this Christmas season, remember to give them a gift that will last them a lifetime! The gift of serving others.
Here are some really simple ideas that can truly go a long way:
- Ask your older children to help out and read to your younger children or play a game with them from time to time
- Have your child help their sibling with putting on a coat or doing his/her chores
- Take a meal to a family in need- have your children make the meal with you while you tell them why you are doing it- have them go with you to deliver it
- Help them write/decorate notes of encouragement to friends, family members, church staff, or anyone else who you feel needs to be loved on! Elisa had a great idea here on making personal cards from your children to their family members on Christmas.
- Have them give daddy a cold drink while he is working on the car, yard, or something else physically taxing
- Go through your children’s toys/clothes and find things you can take to a homeless shelter or clothes donation center. Let them be a part of this process
- Bake cookies/other treats and deliver them to neighbors
- Make a phone call to a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while and have the children tell them they love them!
Those are just a few but the list is endless. There are always so many ways we can serve the people around us!
What are some ways YOUR family has served others?