My children were only preschoolers when they became caught up in the “what am I gonna get?” view of Christmas.  This is a hazard of the season we must all be mindful of…and watch out for.

Realizing that I needed to teach them the history of Christmas gifts, we began to discuss the reason we receive, and give, gifts. We read the account of the wise men in Matthew chapter two. I pointed out how the wise men first worshipped Christ before presenting their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

But for us, in today’s “stuff” saturated world the Christmas season has become self-honoring, about the gifts we receive ourselves.

Our family has spent a lot of time brainstorming how we could honor the King with gifts of service. I was amazed at my young children’s selfless hearts as they suggested baking bread for an elderly neighbor, helping their great-grandma scoop snow off her driveway, and even some light housekeeping for a cancer patient.

To remember their gifts through the years, we created a “Gifts for Jesus” book with their illustrations and photos of their acts of service. We add the current year’s pages to the book during a birthday party for Jesus and celebrate the real reason for gifts!

In an effort to jump start you and your family on this serving others emphasis for CHRISTmas, we gathered the following ideas from some moms on their experiences with their kids in serving others:

Sherry —  “I think my best Christmas memory was when I was a teenager. It was just my mom and me left at home and we didn’t do Christmas for each other. We adopted a family from the church and anonymously gave them a Christmas. Don’t forget: you can always send Christmas cards and letters/kid’s drawings to deployed Soldiers. I can guarantee they are always welcomed. Some soldiers do not get mail and they really appreciate them.”

Laurie — “My son is 6 now, and we have started making salt dough ornaments and giving them as gifts. My grandfather is in a nursing home and he loves passing them out to the residents as gifts and it helps his social skills. :)”

Jennifer — “This year I witnessed a really neat Christmas miracle. A family around here fell on some really hard times — a very sad situation. People in my community who don’t even know the family have been pouring gifts, money, gift cards, love and help on that family. It’s been so amazing to see God’s blessings pour on people!”

Tricia — “This year local people are donating gifts to our teen moms and their babies. Every mom was signed up for! One of my friends bought a carseat for one of our teen moms for Christmas in honor of her in-laws. I’m going to take a photo for her to send to them!”

Kennisha — “I actually would LOVE to take my son to a senior center to sing songs to them. He’s such a singer and I know he would bless them. I just may do that … bring Christmas cookies and let him sing a song or two.”

Tracey — “We bake goodies for those who we know are away from family or elderly and make Happy visits! 🙂 This year everyone is going to get a big empty box over CHRISTmas break and they have to fill it and we are going to take the stuff to a local shelter for give away!”

Janel — “I bet kids would like making it a “secret mission” sometimes, too — being sneaky about surprising someone with a meal or a card or childcare for a date night. My kids seem to love making cards for people — art time plus service. The cards go great with my-kid-helped cookies. :)i.e. a friend over for my little kids!) or something.”

Nicole — “At our church we all plan to give blood to help the Red Cross because according to Red Cross this is the most critical time they need blood and the donor at this time are the yr is the lowest.”

Michele — “At church the children including my son have taken clothes, and toiletries to the church for some Burhmese refugees as well as donated their Awana points that they earned to give to a local ministry to the homeless in the area. We have also done a food drive for the local shelter for Thanksgiving. After I make them- my son and I take baby blankets to a local Pregnancy center for new moms.”

Maybe you, a group of mom friends and all the kids can work together to provide a special memory in creating and sharing Jesus love with others this CHRISTmas!

As moms we must be mindful to refocus our children on the true meaning of Christmas!

We would love to have your ideas posted in the “comments” section below!