Give the gift of time this Christmas.
If you are like me you are overwhelmed with the amount of stuff your family is collecting. So why get more stuff this Christmas when we can give of ourselves instead?
Budgeting time to serve others is not only one of the greatest gifts we can give; it’s also a wonderful way to teach our children the value of serving others.
Please hear my heart. I am not against toys, actually I love toys. When I walk into a toy store, especially the really cool smaller ones, I feel like a kid again.
However, the truth is that kids can get overwhelmed with too much stuff. I often find myself buying just to buy at Christmas time because it’s what people do.
I believe that we can set our kids at a disadvantage when they have too much because it encourages boredom. Oftentimes I find my kids flitting around from thing to thing without a lot of engagement.
Consequently, could we be stifling their creativity because of our “too much stuff” issue?
Does your child’s space often look like the picture above? Perhaps you have the problem of having an amount of toys that your child can’t manage well.
If you feel overwhelmed with their things, your child feels overwhelmed too. However they likely don’t have the words or insight to express it.
One solution is cleaning out toys during Christmas and birthdays. We don’t have a big house, therefore there is no space left. We don’t need extra stuff because all it does it cause clutter. To minimize the clutter, when the kids get a gift we try to give one thing away.
This applies to the adults too. There are a lot of great charities out there. Sometimes we fall into the trap of only wanting to give things away if they are broken, torn or stained. We do this at the cost of acquiring more, therefore creating more chaos in our home.
I was super challenged and inspired by a post entitled, “Dear World: Let’s Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor” by We Are That Family.
What is another solution when you are struggling with all the stuff your family is acquiring?
Give the Gift of Time this Christmas
What does it look like to give the gift of time? There are so many great ideas, and I want to be able to explore the possibilities with you today. Not ready to get rid of the idea of giving material things for Christmas? That’s okay.
But perhaps this post will inspire you to give the gift of time, which is more valuable than anything you can buy. Below, I’ve compiled a list of ideas that range from super inexpensive to expensive to accommodate all income levels.
The gift of time is a great gift idea for grandparents to give as well. This is a win-win because it is also a gift for the parent of that child. No matter what, give the gift of time this Christmas.
Giving the Gift of Time
Time with You
Kids need you. They need you to take the time to focus completely on them. It’s not easy to discipline yourself to put the cell phone away and be present with your children.
This gift can be fancy and involved or simple. Create a flyer that you can wrap up that explains the gift of time they have been given.
Here a some fun ideas
- Game Day – Create a day filled with board games, active games and puzzles.
- Zoo Trip
- Children’s Museum Trip
- Fancy Dinner Date with Mommy or Daddy
- Family Vacation – “Hey Kids, Rather than presents this year, we are going to DISNEYLAND!!”
- Baking Day
- Camping Trip
- Craft Day
- Scavenger Hunt
- Wii Play Day
- Take a Staycation
- Family Slumber Party in the Living Room
- Sporting Event or Season Tickets
- A Day of Memories
- Family Nature Day
- Dance Party
- Ice Skating or Roller Skating
- Bus or Train Ride to the City
- Musical, Concert, Dance or Other Performance
Time Developing Talents, Interests and Activities
Another way to give the gift of time is to give them the time to explore their own interests and abilities through lessons or passes. Extracurricular activities shouldn’t be assumed by the child because that perpetuates the privilege mindset.
It is beneficial for them to see this as a privilege and a gift because it keeps them humble. The trick is finding their passions and then support them in those pursuits.
Here are some ideas
- Music Lessons
- Zoo Passes
- Children’s or Regular Museum Passes
- Season Tickets to Sporting Events
- Season Tickets to the Theatre
- Art Classes (crafts, pottery, drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.)
- Membership to a Gym that Offers Children’s Classes
- Martial Arts Lessons
- Cooking Classes
- Golf Lessons
- Chess Clubs
- Science, Math or Robot Clubs
- Voice Lessons
- Opportunities with Theatre Camps or Shows
- Dance Lessons
- Educational Classes
- Horseback Riding
- Swimming Lessons
Time and Focus on Others
Christmas isn’t about you. It’s about God sending his son to be the Savior of the world. What did he teach us? To serve others. If you really want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, make this a time to teach your family to give the gift of time this Christmas.
Use your family time to make someone else’s life better. A motto we are trying to adopt in our family is “Spend Less. Give More.” It’s hard, and we have a long way to go. Christmas is a great time to put our call to serve and focus on others into action.
Give These Ideas a Try
- Adopt a Soldier or Military Family – Find a soldier or military family to adopt over the holidays. Send letters and care packages if they are deployed. Here are some ways to bless a military family who is left behind while their solider is at war.
- Adopt a family – Dress up as Santa Claus and take gifts, cookies or even throw a Christmas party for a family in need. Do this as a family, and let your kids help with the shopping.
- Give Life – World Vision produces their Christmas catalog where you can help families who have little.
- Make Homeless Packs
- Serve at a Food Kitchen
- Stuff a Stocking – SOAR International sends stuffed stockings to children in need in Russia.
- Help Foster Children – Children are often taken out of their homes quickly, with only the shirt on their back. Contact your local foster child program to see how you can provide a stuffed animal, clothes or back packs filled with activities.
- Christmas Cookie Delivery
- Give to Your Local Food Bank – The food banks have a high need during the holiday times.
- Invite People Into Your Home – There are many people without a family this Christmas. Be the family that they don’t have.
Do What’s Best For Your Family
You might be a family that wants to adopt this concept of giving the gift of time as the only method of giving this season, and that’s great.
You might want to still give toys, clothes and things to your kids at Christmas; and that is great, too. This post is aimed to encourage you to consider finding creative ways to give something that is more valuable than things – your time.