This time of year is a busy time for many families. School has started, and the holidays are back to back it seems. In my family we have a birthday every few weeks from September through December. It is amazing how much money can be spent without even noticing when you have so much going on. I started thinking about this post when my daughter approached me with a long list of what she would like for not only her birthday, but for Christmas too. I mean, can we do one list at a time? The items she asked for were not cheap and ranged from gift cards to highly priced electronic gifts. I recently allowed her to sell her PSP because it had done nothing but collect dust since we bought it. She was thrilled to spend the profits and shower herself with some clothes from an overpriced girly store. However, I couldn't help but see my mom in my place and think about the countless number of times she had to deal with me in similar situations.
The reality is that kids are selfish. Its not until they get older and mature that they learn that the world does not revolve around them. However, there are plenty of adults who never outgrew this self-centered view as well. Americans, in general, consume, spend, and throw away millions of dollars in goods that people in other parts of the world only dream about. As a parent, it is my responsibility to make my children aware of the people who don't have access to the many opportunities and blessings they do. Our kids have wanted for nothing and if they have it was a 'want' and not a 'need'. My prayer is to impress upon them the desire to think of others before themselves. If every parent to could aim to have this mentality as a part of their rearing, I think our world would be a much better place.
I know it's easy to give during the holiday season because it seems like the right thing to do during this time. I would encourage you to create a lifestyle of giving once the holidays are over. You may feel as if you are unable to make a difference, but the bible reminds us to not despise small beginnings. If you are unaware of where to start, consider brainstorming with your church, friends, or family. Pray and ask God to lead you because there are plenty of needs to be met even if its not on a large scale. There is no greater gift we can give our kids outside of loving them, teaching them how to love others, and to give selflessly.