Get Your Kids Excited about Operation Christmas Child
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My son handed me the worn Target ad, its edges crinkled from fingers paging through it
Giant, uneven circles enclosed shiny transformers, expensive video games, and the epic Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego set. I squeezed his shoulders, “Looks like you put a lot of time into thinking about what you want.”
I like the excitement Christmas brings. One year, after hanging the final ornament, a bright red Christmas Lightning McQueen on the tree, my then-4-year-old son sat on the couch and waited. “For Christmas to come, mom.” It was the day after Thanksgiving.
Recreating the excitement felt in ancient times around the birth of Christ? Nailed it.
But, there’s another important aspect to Christmas I’d like for my kids to learn as well: to generously give the way God gives to us.
I know I’m not alone. Don’t we all want our kids to grow up to be generous, world-changing human beings? As mommas, we know teaching our kids to give is worth the investment.
I like what Diane Harris at Parenting says,
“The benefits of actively fostering children’s charitable impulses are enormous. Besides helping counter the overdeveloped ‘gimme’ impulse, it gives kids a powerful boost in self-esteem to realize they can make a difference in someone’s life. ‘And as corny as it sounds,’ says Patricia Schiff Estess, a New York City writer and the author of Kids, Money & Values, ‘when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world.'”
So every year we participate in Operation Christmas Child, an organization that ships boxes stuffed with goodies to kids living in fragile communities worldwide.
This year, after we packed markers, notebooks, toothbrushes, toys…etc…each box had a little room left. I got all excited and was like, “Yay, boys – how fun would it be to fit a few more things into these boxes! Let’s dig through your excessive amount of toys and pick out some that are done playing with but are still nice!”
(Cue let down music.)
(“No, boys, no – you’re excelling in the excitement about receiving, just like we receive the gift of Christ, but please…get…thrilled..about…giving…”)
Apparently, my boys still play with all of their toys at all times and couldn’t part with any of them. Even the neglected ones. (Boys 1, Mom 0)
Not one to give up and determined to get my kids excited about Operation Christmas Child, I came across this video. That reaction? Wow. Just, wow. Someone hand me a Kleenex.
So, I showed this to my boys. It moved them too. They immediately went downstairs and came up with an impressive amount of toys to top off the boxes.
God, thank you for stirring my boys’ hearts on this one. (Boys 0, God 1)
As a mom who is in this parenting thing with you – I had to share this video. If you have any success stories of teaching your kids to give, I’d love to read them in the comments.
Still shopping for Christmas? Here are some ideas…
Best Booklist for High School Teenagers
45+ Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Tweens and Teens
Best Booklist for Middle School Tweens
Inspirational Books Moms Will Love to Read
Gift Ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens
- Photo by Joe Cavazos on Unsplash
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.