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A Gift for the Christ Child; Christmas Tradition

Updated on December 23, 2012
Celebrating Jesus' birth on Christmas Day!
Celebrating Jesus' birth on Christmas Day! | Source

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.

The three kings brought gifts to the baby Jesus. (Image extracted from source indicated.)
The three kings brought gifts to the baby Jesus. (Image extracted from source indicated.) | Source

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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What do you think?

Does this sound like a tradition you might want to start within your family?

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Comments: "Giving Back at Christmas; A Gift for the Christ Child; Christmas Tradition"

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    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Gail - I am glad that you appreciated the idea. Thanks for all the votes and for stopping by. Here's wishing you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      What a wonderful, inspiring and uplifting idea. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Sueswan - thanks for stopping by. Here's wishing a very warm and wonderful Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      marriedwithdebt - I think is so important to teach our children to think of others, and to think in the lines of providing service to others. I applaud you for the work you are doing with your daughter. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Hi homesteadbound

      Wonderful ideas on how to instill the true meaning of Christmas in children.

      I too am sorry that the story doesn't end happily.

      God Bless you and Merry Christmas!

    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Great story - these are traditions we are working into our family. My wife leads our daughter's girl scout (Daisies) troop and it is nice to see 6 year olds thinking about others. A few weeks ago my daughter spent 2.5 hours pulling soda tabs off cans with needle nosed pliers for the Ronald McDonald house. Thanks for sharing.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      flashmakeit - volunteering is so important. A very merry Christmas to you and yours also. Thanks for stopping by!

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 6 years ago from usa

      bless your heart of gold volunteering for a worthy cause is a justifiable and helpful thing to do.

      I wish you and your family a merry Christmas.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      mary615 - We adopted a sibling group of 3 who were 7, 8, and 9. We wanted a family so badly. And we had so much to offer. Some day I will be writing about it.

      Thanks so much.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi, how many children did you adopt? I'm sorry to hear the story does not end happily. Whatever the circumstances, you and your husband certainly are to be admired for teaching them that it is better to give than receive. I can tell by your avatar that you are a sweet, caring person. That smile gives you away! Goodnight.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Maralexa - Thank you so much. I truly appreciate you and your kindness. As hard as we tried, the story does not end happily as we would have liked. But that will be many more hubs in the future should I decide to share the story/stories. I pray that your Christmas is truly blessed and that you are surrounded by people you love and who truly love you. Blessings.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      What an absolutely wonderful hub and message to us all. Your children are truely blessed to have such caring and inspiring parents. At this time of year so many of us forget what the 'holyday' is about. May God abundantly bless you, your husband and your children over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

      Thank you for reminding me again how incredible people can be. Sincerely Marilyn

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      brittanytodd - I am pleased that you have found this tradition inspirational. It was hard finding things that the children to relate too because of the environment from which they came.

      I hope you do share it with your family - let me know what they think.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 6 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      What a wonderful and inspiring idea for a tradition, Cindy! I have to applaud you again for taking in those kids. This tradition is such a lovely one that I may have to share with my family this Christmas. Thank you for sharing! Voted up, etc.