Day 18: Gifts

Welcome to the 25 Days of Giving. Each day we’ll focus on a different way you can teach your kids to give to others. If you missed the start of this series, you can find it here. Put the focus on giving instead of getting at Christmas this year because Jesus was a gift to us. Join in the fun by reading each day, then posting in the comments ways that you help your kids give to others at Christmas. Don’t forget to share this series with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

My older daughter came home from school yesterday a bit upset with one of her friends. You see, her band is selling "Santa sacks," which are little sacks of candy. For $1 you can buy one for a friend and have it delivered to them during class today. My daughter and her friend had agreed to buy them for each other, but her friend forgot to bring money.

The whole "Santa sack" idea bothers me a bit because it publicly singles out the really popular kids who get multiple sacks and leaves the less popular kids who don't get any Santa sacks feeling pretty crummy. My daughter learned this at Halloween when another group in the school did something similar. It's no fun not to get anything when it seems like everyone else is getting something.

So, my daughter thought she had it covered with her agreement with her friend. But then her friend forgot. Because I knew Santa sacks were for sale at school, our card for yesterday was to get a gift for a friend. When my daughter came home and presented me with this tale of woe, I asked her if she had bought her friend a Santa sack anyway, and she had.

This was a great lesson for my daughter about giving with no expectation of receiving. Acts 20:35 says, "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” And my daughter is getting to learn the rewards of giving without receiving.

Sure, she has a right to be upset with her friend (she made a promise and didn't keep it), but when we give gifts, we don't always get something in return. So, today, we're going to focus on how happy her friend is going to be to get something when the Santa sacks are handed out. Because creating joy at Christmas by giving without receiving is pretty much what Jesus did for us.

Linking up today with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and Word Filled Wednesday.