Christmas is on my mind. I know, I know…don’t roll your eyes, ok? I mean, as soon as you see the Halloween stuff out in stores, doesn’t your mind kiiiiiind of go there? I would be willing to bet at least $5.00 that you have mentioned Christmas in some way, shape or form in the past month.

Aaawwwwwwwwww! So cute! December '09

See, look, I’ll take you there! So precious!

Ahem….ok, but really seriously. This is actually very serious. If you are a family member of mine, stop reading this ok (unless you have advice to contribute)?  Everyone else huddle up.

My kids have too much stuff.

There. I said it.

Jeremy and I actually only buy our children between 1 and 2 small/medium presents annually because they get SO MUCH from other family members. And we’ve tried the whole “name drawing” thing with extended family and it doesn’t really work all that well.

The issue I’m having is that the boys are well blessed. (HURRAY for well-blessed children!)  I want them to continue to enjoy the holiday AND understand that stuff doesn’t equal happiness. Tall order, right?

Our church does this neat thing called “Advent Conspiracy” that I truely love. It’s been hard to enact mostly because you’ve gotta sort of ease into it, especially if you are breaking traditions. (We do better and better each year as I think about it more.) But the whole idea (if you don’t click on that link and find out for yourself) is that Christmas isn’t about stuff. It’s magical because it’s about the miracle of a Savior being born to us.

So what’s my point in all this? My point in all this is I want to ask you what you and your family do to keep things reasonable. If you looked around your kiddos room and saw gobs of toys, would you (or have you before?) ask family *gasp* not to buy toys for the little people? YIKES!

I’m just trying to get ideas here. I know I want to donate some toys to Good Will or maybe even sell some on Craigslist. But it’s challenging to convince my kids that it’s worthwhile to do this. Cooper is wildly attached to his toys and I want to work on creating the double g…. the growth of a grateful and giving heart.

So-summary:

1. How do you grow a grateful and giving heart in the hearts and lives of your family and children?

2. How do you encourage family to get on board and not go over board?

Whew…see…it wasn’t that bad talking about Christmas.

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6 thoughts on “Creating the Double G

  1. Tiffany,
    I think a good start is to explain to Cooper when you where a little girl we always donated your toys each year making room for new ones at Christmas. Explain what a happy heart you would have knowing someone less fortunate would have such wonderful toys to play with.
    Love
    Mom

  2. Thanks Mom, I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate that story into things. I’m hoping it won’t be a tearful mess. I wish I could show him a way that it benefits, show him how great it is to help someone. I’m trying to get creative.

  3. We’ve always done your mom’s suggestion, too, Tiffany (and I’m thankful that my parents did with us, too). The boys, when prepared that we’re going to do this, are generally ok with getting rid of some stuff. We sell some and give some away (and pitch some junk).

    And, my MIL has promised to cut back this year, which is great! Also, my siblings have started going in together to do things like get us a gift card somewhere to do something as a family, or, because Luke really wants this one big Lego set, they’re going in together for that for his birthday. So he knows that he won’t get a bunch of stuff, but instead one thing he REALLY wants. I like that much better!

  4. We have the kids pick out toys to donate before holidays and birthdays as well. This year I’m taking it a step further. They will pick out a few nicer toys to donate (that they don’t really play with anymore). I am going to be selling some of our bigger items – like our GeoTrax set which hardly anyone plays with. I’m selling and whatever I make will go in the holiday fund.

    I’m also planning on having a Christmas Party in which the kids can invite friends. We plan to read the Christmas story from the Bible, have Birthday cake to celebrate Christ’s birth and sing some songs with all the kids. I’m going to ask each child that attends to bring a new, unwrapped gift to be given to a local charity. I’m researchign charities to give the gifts to now. I’m hoping this will be a good chance for us to reach out to the kid’s friends and families and to teach our kids about serving others. I’d like to find a place that’s safe to donate the toys to because I want to take the kids with us to drop them off. I got this idea from the woman who runs Tia’s preschool and I love it. I’m really excited to give it a try this year!

  5. Great idea Kelly! I know it’s got an early deadline (usually first or second week in November), but Samaritan’s Purse is an option.

    I love this suggestion and maybe I’ll talk to my girlfriends and get a little party together myself! Great idea, THANKS!

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