Cultivating Generosity

Although I’ve shared that I’m not a natural gift giver, it’s very important for me that we as a family cultivate generosity throughout the year, but especially at Christmastime.  Last month, my mom took the kids to Target and let them help her fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  That needs to become a tradition!  And one of the most fun things about this Christmas is that it’s the first year our son has had an allowance, so he actually bought gifts for his sisters with his own money.  T receives $1 a week for allowance, and on his sixth birthday, we set him up with four pouches.  He puts at least a dime every week in tithe and savings, then he can divide up the rest as he wishes between his short-term savings (for Legos) and gifts.  We also give him the opportunity to do extra household chores to earn extra money.  Even after buying birthday presents for all three sisters this spring, he had squirreled away almost $20 for Christmas presents.  We waited until he’d gotten this week’s allowance and headed to Barnes and Noble, where he went up and down every aisle to find the perfect presents for the girls.  As he wrapped their books, he kept exclaiming about how excited they would be to open them!

teaching generosity

I love it when my kids enjoy being generous.  I’m sure T won’t always be willing to spend 70% of his allowance on his sisters, but I plan to continue having our kids buy or make presents for each other instead of sticking their name to something from Mom and Dad.  I’m still trying to figure out what the little girls can do for T–at this point, it will probably be a special picture.

How do you cultivate generosity in your family at Christmastime?

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One Response to Cultivating Generosity

  1. Elsa says:

    My mom always kept a big box of “basic” gift stuff. She would pick up small toys, books, candles, stationery, lotion, etc. whenever she ran across them: things that could be used as gifts in lots of situations. So even when my sisters and I were too little to buy or shop for anything for each other, she would let us look through the box and pick something out.

    One year my twin sister and I selected copies of the same book for each other!

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