Last week, my blog post talked about giving non-monetary things at Christmas—kindness, a helping hand, things that we can give freely no matter what our finances. But this time of year is also a time to model generosity, especially to our kids. But how could the small amount I can afford as a single mom make any difference?
I have watched as God has provided for Christmas after Christmas since my husband died, to be special in amazing ways. But because I have been the recipient of such generosity, I want to show my kids how to give even when that gift is humble and often small. Sometimes I tend to think of big gifts as the only meaningful charity. Ever feel like what you have to give just isn’t enough?
I think we must remember a simple fact: God loves a cheerful giver, no matter the size of the gift. Giving small still teaches our kids that generosity should be a natural part of our lives.
I did a little searching for things that were simple and inexpensive, but meaningful to choose from for my kids and I want to share that list with you here. Here are three places you can give small this Christmas season:
Bloodwater.org. This organization provides water filters, medicine, and sometimes clean wells for villages in communities in Africa that don’t have access to these basic needs.
We take for granted turning on the faucet and having clean, safe water. For many people around the world, this is unheard of. They must walk miles each day to get water and sometimes the water isn’t safe, leading to diseases. Giving here means helping a family with a basic need. What an opportunity to talk to our kids about being thankful for this simple thing and helping another family enjoy clean water too. Though the site says that $40 buys a water filter, you can donate any amount.
Angel Tree. This project from Prison Fellowship seeks to provide Christmas gifts to children with one or more parent in prison at Christmas time. You can search for locations collecting them near you. (See their website for more information.) It’s such an amazing thing to help your child shop for a child who is missing mommy or daddy at Christmas. I’m always humbled by the generosity that comes from children when you ask them to give to someone like themselves.
World Vision.org. Not gonna lie, this one is my favorite to do with the kids. They have a catalog online of various gifts at various price ranges you can choose from to help families in poverty around the world. Seeing the items and getting to choose is so fun for them. My kids were pumped the year we gave a family a pair of chickens. Seriously, how cool is that for non-farm kids?
World Vision has a variety of items under $30 including (but not limited to):
- $21 for a mosquito netting to save kids from malaria
- $16 for a soccer ball to let kids just be kids
- $25 for chickens that provide eggs for a family
Generosity should never be reserved for the rich. On the contrary, many studies have shown that the poor tend to give more sacrificially, possibly because they understand what it means to be in need. Helping our kids learn the valuable lesson of giving is an important one that will create in them thankfulness and gratitude, and hopefully a lifetime of generosity in all sizes. And it is a great time of year to focus on the joy of giving, isn’t it?
What’s one way you give with your kids this time of year? I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments.