Sometimes it is easy to be grateful, but sometimes it can be so hard. This is especially true in our children, who have seen less, who have less life experience.
Back before Christmas we were able to join a group to make blessings bags for the homeless in our community. Everyone brought some things to put in--chap stick, tissues, baby wipes, socks, bottled water, and the like. The girls also made arm knitted scarves, and we had one of those to give to a person we found. There are a few corners that we know to look for people regularly, and we were able to brighten a few days by passing out the bags we'd made. And our kids saw real needs and real people.
The kids also see the catalogs that come from Samaritan's Purse and Compassion International each Christmas, and want to send goats, pigs, and clean water around the world. Those are good things, but they don't have enough money themselves for these gifts. They are great about dropping coins into the little boxes to support children's hospital, the offering basket, and anywhere else they see a need, but these animals are more than the money they have on hand. But isn't part of being grateful, being able to see all that you have, and being willing to give something to someone else from your abundance?
This year I offered a way for them to help pay for those gifts they want to send. We don't go out to expensive restaurants or take lavish vacations, but we had made a habit of stopping for McDonald's, not full meals, but a small burger for each of them, a fry to share, and a coffee for me. I told them that each week that we gave that up, we'd put the savings back, about seven dollars. At the end of they year, we'll take those savings and buy chickens, goats, part of a well, or whatever they choose.
Then I was reading through my advance copy of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World (by Kristin Welch), and her family switched out Monday night dinners for rice and beans. My kids don't like rice and beans at all, so rather than once a week, we decided we would do this ever two or three weeks. I'll also add in the money for the meat we might have purchased for dinner that night to our savings.
They are small little sacrifices that they can make. That they understand. They can make a difference. And I'm sure there will be excitement as they choose what to send next fall. I wonder what they will choose. I'm pretty sure these will be some of our favorite Christmas presents next year!
Are there any projects your kids have been in on lately?
Here is my full book review.
Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude - by Alison Rasisng Grateful Kids - by amanda Why You Can't Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store - by Andrea Missing - Gratefulness in our home - by Ange Choosing Gratitude - by Angela Gratefullness - by chaley 5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family - by Christa Practicing Grateful Parenting - by Dana Sing a Song - by Hannah Cultivating gratitude in our family - by Jamie Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Let It Begin With Me - by Jen Choosing Gratefulness - by Jennifer Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - The Book - by jeri Eradicating Entitlement - What are you rooted in? - by Jessica Gratefulness in our home - by Kate The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us - by Katelyn 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful - by Kathryn Raising Grateful Kids - by Keri How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude - by Kishona Grateful - by Kristy Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie - by Leigha The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids - by Lindsey Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? - by Marie Osborne Gratitude, A Practical Definition - by Mia Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home - by Nancy Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness - by Rachel Being Grateful - by Rebecca I've Found Something I Can't Live Without - by Sarah The Power of Naming our Gifts - by Sarah Outfitted - by Sarah Jo Growing Gratitude in our Family - by Sondra Teaching Gratefulness - by Stephanie How Grateful Looks From Here - by Alison Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us - by Leah Entitlement Problem - by Karrie Grateful Today - by Krystal