Giving Tree

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. After decorating several homes including my own, I still enjoy the wonder and sparkle that every decoration provides. I also love the traditions that are passed down and the ones that we have adopted for our family. In a season of the gimmies, I wanted to make sure my kids knew what it meant to give back and think of others during this time. This is how our

Giving Tree

 was born.

First I took a roll of craft paper and covered our table. I drew a tree and then had my kids paint all different tones of green. Then I cut ornament shapes out of water color paper and let them paint those with water colors. 

Finally, we made a list of the things we could do for others. (I had to help on some of them)

I put it in my studio on the side of a filing cabinet. Once we complete an act of service, my kids get to put the ornament on the tree.

This is the list we came up with:

1. make cards for soldier and or fireman (police works too)

2. Put together "give away" bags for homeless. This includes: bottled water, granola bars, lotion, pair of socks, food gift cards. Then keep them in your car and I am sure you will have a opportunity to give them away and bless someone.

3. Bring cookies to a neighbor. Or in our case, my kids were wanting to bless the fireman. I just took their lead so they could own the giving.

4. Babysit for a friend so parents can go out. Even though I have two boys,  they really enjoy doing this one. I think it shows them how we are here to serve one another.

5.Shoes to share is a ministry that provides shoes for those in need as they share God. You can check out this website for location of drop off.   http://www.shoes2share.org   I like to show my kids the videos to help them resinate with why we donate. Then we look through our gently used shoes. You can also do this with clothes and toys.

6. Help Nana clean. This may sound silly, but I want my kids to respect their grandparents and be helpful in this way.

7. Say something nice about everyone in the family. This teaches our kids that our words are important. We have the power to speak life or death with our words. I also, like them to give a real compliment, something they appreciate, etc.

8. Give to the angel tree. Picking out toys for other kids is fun.

This is just our list, but we might change it as the years go by. What I love is that kids were involved in making it, helping decide what service projects we do, and it is a visible reminder of things we can do. Christmas is so busy with lots of family coming in town. I am not putting pressure on myself. We will leave it up until we finish. And school is out for 3 weeks, so we will get it. 

Its just a great visual to encourage our family that we can do more, love more, and be more to show other the love of Christ.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to showing you in the coming weeks all that I have been up to this past year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!