Not Just For Christmas {Christmas in July}

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For those of you new to the site, every Sunday we do what is called “the UN-digi.” We talk about things totally unrelated to digital scrapping.  It isn’t bad to take a break once in a while, is it? You can check out the archives for all the fun stuff we have seen on Sundays for the past six months!

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In keeping with our CHRISTMAS IN JULY theme, I want to talk about the idea of gift giving in general.  It’s not just for Christmas.

A few weeks ago, we were driving in the car with the kids.  I had a welcome basket in the back full of stuff for a new family moving into town.  I was making and writing a card to leave for them in their hotel room, as well as putting on the finishing touches to the basket for their new home.  My six year old looked at me and what I was doing and said, “You really like to make things for people, don’t you?” I stopped, looked at her, and said “Yes, I really do.”

In that moment I knew that I have at least started the process of raising kids with a giving spirit.  After all, as parents everything we truly want our kids to learn has to start by it being modeled. I want my children to grow up understanding that gifts are just as (if not more!) fun to give than to receive.  And I want them to understand that gift giving isn’t just for Christmas (or birthdays).  Gifts can be given all year ’round.  Gifts are a sign of our love, care, and thoughtfulness toward someone else.  Those things don’t need a holiday!

Here are some ideas for making gift giving a regular part of your life (and for your kids):

  • Sponsor a child through an organization like Compassion International or World Vision.  Have your children help write letters to your sponsored child.
  • Bake a double batch of cookies and save one for yourself and give one to a set of friends.
  • Make cards for people and send them out for no reason.
  • Have a surprise “un birthday” party to celebrate someone you love.
  • Write notes to your kids and put them in their lunches
  • Offer to watch someone else’s kids so that they can have a night out
  • Drop of a box of doughnuts unexpectedly at someone’s house
  • When you go to a baby shower, bring two gifts: one for the baby and one for the mom
  • If you buy your kids a special treat at the store, wrap it up before giving it to them
  • Have your kids pick out their own gifts for each other (there is nothing I have loved more than watching my children really think about what they want to buy for a sibling!)
  • If you are good with your camera, offer to take pictures for another family (how many families do you know that have NO pictures of them all together?)

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There are so many ways to teach, model, and practice a giving spirit. When gifts come for no reason other than love and care, they mean so much more.

What are some ways you teach your kids to have a giving spirit year ’round?  I would love to hear them!

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