Spend Less, Give More

With all my talk lately about consumerism and spending, you need to know that I am not a Christmas Scrooge, or the Grinch, or a present hater.  I am actually completely the opposite.  Nothing makes me happier than secretly picking out gifts for the girls, keeping them hidden and giving them the surprise of their lives on Christmas morning.  I am a believer in the magic of the season, and in building memories the girls will share with their kids for years to come.

What we are trying more than anything to do at the same time is teach our girls that it’s not all about them.  How to do that and get them the most awesome presents ever is a very tricky thing indeed.

This past weekend in our Family Time about Advent, we talked about how to Spend Less, and Give More.  We got a list of needy families in our community from the girls’ school, and went on a shopping trip.  The girls were very excited to pick out an outfit for a girl their own age.  We also picked out a few outfits and  video games for boys.  Rob was excited about that because he never gets to buy cool games for boys.

  We told the girls that we were spending money on these gifts because these families would not have much to offer their kids on Christmas morning.   The girlj0384835s were totally and completely in to the project, which made it really fun.  On the way out the door, Whitney dug through her own purse and dumped her change in the Salvation Army Bucket without us saying anything to her.  She gets it.  Moments like that make all our efforts to teach them “it’s not all about us” worth it.

We live in an amazing community with people that love to give of their time and serve others.  I know that’s not normal.  I am so thankful for this.  What is your family or community doing this season to give back?

3 thoughts on “Spend Less, Give More

  • December 7, 2009 at 10:19 am
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    Hey Michelle,
    Each year, Justin and I pick a family/single mom, who we know is in need and we rally about 15 other families along with us to do a big Christmas Surprise. It is really fun, and it keeps us focused on that and less on ourselves, and the kids get to help pick things out and of course they deliver all the items with us. This year we are helping a single mom of 3 kids. People are donating gift cards to Wal-mart, Martins, Meijer, others have been assigned certain grocery items, like meats, cereals, toiletries, etc. We are delivering on the 19th! I can’t wait!

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  • December 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm
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    We are doing more action based giving this year since we can’t help financially. We are traveling with my husband’s family to area nursing homes and playing Christmas music for the residents there with our little family band. Trying to bring a little light to a population this is largely forgotten over these holidays. It is so much fun.

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  • December 31, 2009 at 9:16 am
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    My Maddie did that this season and totally surprised me. We had also been shopping for another family. I loved it because like you said it was cool that it clicked.

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