This post is about something that is on my heart simply because it is the time of year that it is. If you are of the mind to purchase gifts for any children in your family or among your friends, it is to you that I speak.
Christmas ought not just to be about receiving but about giving. If you give to a child, please emphasize other, much more important, aspects of the season to them and help them to find ways to give to others (even if it is only by doing favors or chores).
If you buy clothing for your little ones (or bigger ones), please make sure that, when they put it on, it will not cause them to come off looking like the world. Christians ought to be “set apart”; even if your child-friend isn’t a Christian, you are so make it your concern to honor God in your choices.
Don’t buy clothes that honor rock stars, etc. They are not worthy of honor.
Don’t buy clothing, jewelry or shoes for these little ones that emphasize sensuality. (One of the saddest things that I have ever seen was in the local Dollar Store just a few days ago. A mother had her 5 or 6-year-old daughter in there. The little girl’s very tight sexy clothing, hair, shoes and her very large, very flashy, purse all shouted “Sex!”! At such a young age, too. Just broke my heart.)
Don’t buy things that are more expensive than you can truly afford. Yes, a true present in some way diminishes the giver but don’t give until you can’t eat or pay your necessary bills.
Don’t buy toys that play for your children. They won’t be loved long.
Buy classic toys: puzzles, board games, army men, cars, blocks, babies, etc. Look for a Jacob’s ladder, a yo-yo, art supplies, a book! Give gifts that build creativity and demand some thinking (which isn’t most of the toys out there today).
Don’t buy something simply because the child “has to have it”. Usually that is because their friend has one (and she “had to have it” because another friend had one and so on.) Teach this child to think for herself and be different from those around her. God gave us marvelous, diverse, personalities; we ought to foster appreciation for this.
If the child in any way whatsoever pitches a fit for it, don’t buy it for them. If you’ve already bought it but they don’t know it, don’t give it to them. Either exchange it or let them do without a present. Grumpy “I want it!” demands ought never to be satisfied.
If you can’t afford presents, give the child a gift of your time. Most children don’t get enough one-on-one attention these days. Bake cookies with them, teach a little girl to sew, make doll house furniture with them, color with a very young one, play a game, etc. It really doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters that it is you doing it with them.
Help little ones find ways to give gifts to their parents. If you are buying a gift for a child that you know has no one to help them “buy for Mommy or for Daddy” why don’t you do that instead? As your present to them, take them shopping for a “Mommy or Daddy present”; while out, buy the little one a treat (a candy bar, a burger). They will be thrilled. I know. I once had an Aunt and Uncle that did that for me; it meant a lot to me.
Well, I guess that is about it. Honor God in all that you do and all that you buy. God bless you and keep you. Have a blessed Christmas!