A Gift for the Christ Child; Christmas Tradition
We adopted an older sibling group of children in August of 1996. As we moved into the Christmas season of that same year, we wanted to provide them with some spiritual aspects of Christmas. Having come from such a deprived environment, they were focused only on what they were going to get out of the holiday. Although it was easy to see why this was so, we wanted to provide a way to remove the spotlight from the "selfish" aspect of Christmas.
A New Tradition is Born
In our desire to teach our children that Christmas was not just about self, and what "I" would get out of it, my husband and I came up with an idea that became a holiday tradition at our home.
Just like the three magi brought gifts to the baby, each family member was to think about something that they could give baby Jesus, the Christ Child, for Christmas. Then we each created a small gift that could be hung as a decoration, a scroll, or card which we each hung on the tree. On or in the gift, scroll, or card we each wrote what we would be giving baby Jesus that year for Christmas.
Then on Christmas morning or Christmas eve, whenever we were opening our presents, we shared our gift to baby Jesus with the rest of the family.
Gifts for the Christ Child, Baby Jesus
You may be wondering what in the world could be put in such a gift. The gift was generally service oriented requiring someone to give of themselves in both time and energy. Here are some ideas that could be used.
- Help deliver meals on wheels one time a week
- Volunteer to help with an activity at a nursing home one time a month
- Volunteer to help in one of the areas of need at the church
- Volunteer at the humane society one time a week
- Do one chore a week for a sibling or for a parent, such as: carry out trash to curb, load the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen, make someone's bed, clean the bathroom, etc. (This required giving your time and efforts to someone else without expecting something in return)
- Volunteer to week the flower beds an hour a month without being asked.
- Take over part of the yard work for the summer months, such as raking, mowing or edging.
- Volunteering to babysit for a family that needs it
- Donating a portion or percentage of allowance to a needy cause
- Volunteering to wash the dog once a week or once a month
The time period specified could be for six months to a year. Many of the activities that the children might choose to do would obviously require time and transportation by the parents so that would have to be worked out before the gift could be placed on the tree. And some activities may need to be pre-approved by parents.
As we moved into our first Christmas together as a family, it was interesting, fun and enlightening to observe the way that the children's thought processes played out. It was interesting to learn more about who the children were, and how they thought as they tried to figure out what to give baby Jesus, the Christ Child. It was a growing process for all of us, each of us individually and as a family. It was a Christmas, and a Christmas tradition, to celebrate and to remember.
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