God is pretty clear in the Bible when it comes to giving. Giving isn’t just a good idea that we should do when we feel like it. Giving is something that must be a lifestyle, a regular practice in our lives.
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10
Choosing Christmas gifts for siblings is a great way for kids to learn to give generously. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful over the years when it comes to teaching this important principle through gift giving.
1. Have your kids put themselves in their siblings’ shoes and ask the question, “What would so and so like to receive?” One practical exercise that complements this question well is a simple brainstorming session. Have your kids write down everything that comes to their mind when they put themselves in their siblings’ shoes. It will get the ideas flowing.
John 3:16 taught us that giving is a selfless act and putting ourselves in the shoes of the receiver helps take the focus off of us and onto someone else.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2. Give your kids a spending limit. My daughter is GREAT at picking out gifts, but often times it’s way more than my pocketbook can handle. Giving your children a limit doesn’t downplay the gift but rather helps them to exercise their creativity AND become wise stewards of their finances. Learning to give generously within a budget is using wisdom with you have.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30
3. Encourage your children to exercise creativity. Some of the best gifts my kids have given are not the ones with a price tag but the ones that they’ve put thought and effort into, ones that they’ve made with their own two hands. This can take a lot of work on your part, parents, especially as kids get older, but the pride and joy that a child receives when they’ve spent time on a gift for someone else is worth it.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
4. Don’t forget about teaching your children to receive well. Children are great at saying or expressing exactly what they mean. If your child doesn’t like his or her gift, it can create quite an embarrassing situation for you as parents. In teaching our children to give, it’s equally important to teach them how to receive…with a heart of thankfulness!
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20
5. Teach your kids that we also need to give to those outside of our family. God tells us that we must give to those in need. Christmas isn’t about getting new toys. It’s about giving, and when our children are a part of giving a gift to someone who is really in need, it speaks volumes. Local charities or food banks are great places to start.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16
Giving is something God tells us we must do. Christmas is a perfect time to teach giving to our kids through the very practical act of choosing gifts for siblings. Proverbs 18:16 says, “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” We all want to be in the presence of the great, don’t we?
What tips have you found helpful when it comes to helping your kids pick out gifts for the siblings for the holidays?
MaryAnneDecember 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm
These are great tips! Gift giving comes pretty naturally to my kids, and they love making gifts for others and buying gifts for others.
Elisa | blissfulEDecember 19, 2015 at 11:57 am
I get an opportunity to go to the shops for maybe an hour or two once every few months, so trying to organise gift-buying is next to impossible, as is trying to make something secretly for siblings in a ~900 square foot house! For these reasons, we do a ton of sharing, but not really giving amongst ourselves. However, my kids are constantly giving to others – anyone who comes pre-announced to our house receives something they have sewn or drawn, and they love giving flowers from our tree to their music and swim teachers, people we see at church, etc. It's what we can do at the moment.