giving jar for christmas :: making christmas count

30 Days of Making Christmas Count is almost here!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I feel like I can officially put up the tree and decorate for Christmas. But for me it’s not just about the tree, the cookies, the cheer, the lights, the colder weather…it’s about love and giving this season.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I am so loved by my God. You are so loved. And I want to teach my children that truth, as well as how important it is that we love others too.

So as we work to make Christmas count this year, the first thing we planned was a giving jar for the kids. The original idea came from here and they made a beautiful sign for the mantle. Here’s a picture…

Now I don’t have a mantle so this won’t work for us. I also know my weakness of out of sight, out of mind so I needed something we would see all day long as a reminder. So the centerpiece of our kitchen table is the best spot! So instead of a sign, we have a jar and a wreath…

The jar says the same thing as the sign, “What can we give to the King?”. And then the verse is Matthew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

So here’s how it works. Every time the kids do something to serve and love others, we add a dollar into the jar. I’m going to tell their teachers to let us know if they see them doing it at school too. Of course when my five year old saw the dollar bill when we were explaining it all to him, he tried to sneak it out. So rule #1 has already been set…NO STEALING MONEY OUT OF THE JAR!

Then the night before Christmas, we will count up the money and give it away. We will let the kids choose what they want to give from one of these catalogs…

I love World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. They make it so easy for us to give to others and in ways that can make sense to my young kids. They list the amount of money it takes to give milk to a child for a year, to provide baby chicks for eggs, to give a blanket or a goat…and on and on. My kids get this. They understand that we are serving others so we can give to others too this season. But of course when they saw the pictures of the baby chicks in the catalog the begged for us to get some too…um, no!

So now I’m off to the bank to get my dollar bills for the jar. We are praying for $60 that the kids end up with after a month of serving and loving others.

I wanted to share this with you a few days before the month started in case you wanted to try it out too. And I would love to hear if you have other ideas of how you are teaching your kids to serve others this season!

Let’s make Christmas count!