Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving List

This Sunday we went to church with my mom where we heard a message about generosity. It was your general generosity message, but in it, the pastor was talking about how blessed it made him feel when he would overhear his seventeen-year-old and twenty-year-old whispering on the phone to one another as they planned their gift-giving for the ones they loved. He remarked how fortunate it was that a spirit of generosity had been cultivated in his kids.

Lately, we've been working to help that grow in our children. Recently, James commented on his blog that he was a little sad that our kids couldn't have cared less about a new board game that was a major part of his own childhood. They're more wowed by the latest video game system that inevitably takes up residence in our game room.

I don't know if it's because we both had little growing up, or if it's because we're crazy, but our kids are extraordinarily blessed (and quite spoiled, if we'll be honest). They want for very little from us, and have a ridiculously generous family to boot. As a result, there are times when they take much for granted. Lately, we've adopted a family mantra to be grateful for the things we have. (Last week, Bub parroted that back to me unprovoked, so maybe something's taking root.)

Back to Sunday -- we left the service very impacted, and I even more wanted to cultivate gift-giving in my kids. So, we came home to create a new family tradition: A Giving List. Instead of the traditional wants and needs that would fill a Christmas list of their own, the kids spent time thinking of gifts they wanted to give away to those close to their hearts. It was a lovely and heart-warming exercise. I was genuinely surprised at the thoughfulness that went into each gift choice. The gift ideas were reasonable and well-considered -- nothing silly like a new house or new car -- but rather, things the kids have observed a family member enjoying or asking for, or something that coincides with their personality.

I've already ordered online a few of the more hard to find things, but will immensely enjoy taking them shopping for gifts to give away.


  • Anonymous

    Hey Amanda. Finally am getting to your blog. Every year we have our kids and us too write on note cards to fill our stockings. We say kind remarks and what we love about one another. We place them in the stocking secretly. We also give something to each person. Like Ellisyn is giving Daddy a back rub and doing Daddy's hair. We write it on the card and then on Christmas morning we are surprised by the comments and "gifts". We have already started. I hope you have fun giving this year.


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