There is a lot of giving & receiving this time of year. Family, friends, & co workers. Then there are Toys for Tots, bellringers with buckets, shoeboxes, Angel Tree, etc.
It can be quite overwhelming.
We have gift giving in our immediate family, & we have our game for Christmas Day with our extended family.
When the gift giving involves parents and grandparents it gets a bit tricky because they have everything! That's when creativity comes into play ~ this year we made our parents calendars featuring pictures of their great grandchildren. They loved them! Each month is a different child or group of children, made of pictures taken throughout the year.
For our children ~ this kinda varies depending of the young person and their circumstances. One of ours just moved and needed some household items, one got essential oils and supplies, 4 got luggage, one got new clothes and one got a check. There really is no "one size fits all".
But in all of the excitement, I reflect on how well I did as a parent, in teaching my children how to give and receive graciously and how to serve others.
Even at very young ages, they can be taught to give to grandparents, aunts & uncles. Ornaments, little drawings, or purchased items from money they "earned", it doesn't have to be expensive. And make it fun...teach enthusiasm for giving. But teach them to give. If they learn early, they will carry on the tradition when older ~ birthdays, Christmas, Mothers & Fathers Day.
Teach them how to receive gifts ~ learning thank you is a huge deal. An in person thank you is great, or a text or a phone call. But say the words. They all need to learn (at any age) Thankfulness. Receiving a gift or gifts is a blessing and it blesses the receiver to hear those words. This is especially important for gifts received in the mail from out of town ~ if you don't acknowledge the gift, the giver never knows that it was even received.
Teach them to be hospitable ~ cooking dinner for family, invitations to visit, offers to help after family dinners with clean up, running errands, serving others. There are lots of areas in our lives to practice hospitality.
And how well did I/we do in my/our teaching/mentoring/leading by example/encouraging ~ it depends on the child, their situation, and their circumstances. I could have done more.
I fall short in areas also ~ I miss opportunities to serve others, I try to be thankful for every gift (its the not receiving that I struggle with and need to overcome), I don't want to take anything or anyone for granted, I want my home to be friendly and comfortable for folks to visit. No matter what age, we can all learn more & do more.
Hope you all had a great Christmas.
We received the greatest gift of all time when the Lord sent His Son to the earth ~ may be we forever thankful for His gift and His ultimate sacrifice.