Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gift Giving

Part of a family home evening can be spent deciding what gift each member of your family is going to give to Jesus. Each person writes on a paper their gift--something that they will do to help others, or an attribute they need to work on, etc. Then the paper is rolled into a scroll and tied with ribbon. This can either be placed on the tree or in an empty creche or basket, and may be shared on Christmas.

I have read of families that have decided on a service that takes the effort of every family member to carry out and that is their gift to the Savior. I have known of empty nesters where the husband and wife choose a charity to do a sevice for or contribute to and write their intention in a card that is then placed on the tree and opened on Christmas morning, each spouse receiving from the other the surprise of charitable giving.

The Christams Jars is a beautiful story about saving spare change throughout the year in a jar and using that money to very carefully choose a specific way to help fill the needs of someone. The amount does not have to be large to touch someone's life.

To simplify and turn away from materialism some families give each child 3 gifts (like the wise men). If a gift is for the entire family, such as a game or a larger gift it is said to be brought on the back of a camel traveling with the wise men.

I also assign each child in our family a reindeer name to write on the gift tags so they cannot 'tally' up number of gifts under the tree or guess what their gifts are and become overly focused on what they are 'getting'. These reindeer names are recorded in the notebook.

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