You probably have lots of vivid memories that come to mind when you remember celebrating Christmas as a kid.
● Bundling up in the car to look at the neighbors’ lights.
● Decorating the tree while listening to Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole.
● Making Christmas sugar cookies with Grandma . . . and leaving enough icing so you can lick the bowl.
● Drinking hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) as you watch the snow fall.
● Singing “Silent Night” at church . . . while your candle dripped hot wax onto your fingers.
● Examining each wrapped gift to try to figure out who it was for . . . and what might be inside!
As kids, we waited for the big day to arrive . . . but our concerns were very practical. We couldn’t WAIT to see what gifts we would receive! We spent the month of December dreaming of toys, candy, and video games—and, yes, making lists of the things we wanted most. As parents, we now have the privilege of experiencing Christmas with our own kids. We also have the opportunity to help them connect the joy and excitement of the season with the great love God has shown to us.
After all, Christmas has always been about anticipation. Long ago, God’s people were waiting for the promised Savior. They rejoiced at the news of His birth. We give gifts today as a way to remember the greatest gift: Jesus. God’s only Son. Emmanuel. God with us. Of course your kids will be excited about what they can get for Christmas. But at the same time, don’t miss the chance to show them what it means to give.
In December, we’re discovering what it means to show compassion: Caring enough to do something about someone else’s need. We can respond to the love God showed us by loving the people He’s put around us.
So talk with your kids. As you listen to their wish lists, also help them think about ways to show compassion—to make others your mission. You could give your time, serving somewhere in your local community. You could donate food or winter jackets to those in need. You could choose an item from the Compassion Gift Catalog to make an impact for children in poverty.
Whatever you decide to do, get the whole family involved. Help your kids create some sweet memories about serving and loving others.