There are only 57 days until Christmas.
If your kids are like most, they’ve already given some thought to what they’d like to see under the tree.
But have they thought about what they’d like to give?
It’s an important question to ask. The natural tendency to focus on presents can make it challenging for kids to remember and understand that the season revolves around a Savior who said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
That’s why we, as parents, must intentionally teach our children the joy of giving.
As with most things, it’s a lesson best learned by doing. Children who experience for themselves the satisfaction that comes from serving others will better understand how true Jesus’ words are.
An easy introduction to giving
One practical way to get our kids excited about giving during this holiday season is by packing a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child, the yearly outreach of the international relief ministry Samaritan’s Purse.
Jean and I have been packing shoeboxes with our boys for years. It’s a fun tradition filled with laughs, together-time and excitement. But more than that, it’s a way we share the Gospel as a family.
Our boys know that the children who are served by Operation Christmas Child will receive our gifts at a local church. The event includes age-appropriate presentations of the Gospel – perhaps the only time these boys and girls will be introduced to Jesus. These children are deeply touched by the love the shoeboxes represent.
That real impact is why Focus on the Family has been working together for the past three years with Operation Christmas Child. Our collaborative efforts this year include:
- “A Guide for Serving Others as a Family:” This free, interactive booklet contains a wide variety of ideas on how families, couples and kids can model God’s love to others through acts of service in their communities.
- “Give a Plush Lamb” effort: Give a gift of any amount and Focus on the Family will donate a stuffed lamb for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes
I encourage you to pack a shoebox (or more!) as a family, and to talk with your kids about why you’re doing it. As a family, pray for the child who will receive that box, asking God to prepare his or her heart to receive the Gospel and Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
National Box Collection Week runs from Nov. 17 thru Nov. 24.