The Part of Christmas I'm Most Excited About

In a few days, we'll drive to the bank and ask for a lot of ones.

It's just how we do it.

The catalog has been out for several weeks, and Ella, Isaac and Isaias have already circled and written their names on the pictures of what they would like to give.

When we gather together to celebrate our own family Christmas, this is my favorite thing, my favorite part, my favorite tradition. It's what I look forward to most each year. Each child sits with their own stack of one-dollar bills and waits while Ella turns the pages of the catalog to remind everyone what they had previously marked.

Then we take turns with each child, counting out their money, writing down the gifts they have chosen on a piece of paper. If there is money left over, or if there is a costly gift that one of our children in particular *really really* wants to give, everyone pitches in some money from their stack or Adelia and Audra will be sweet-talked to part with some of those papers in front of them or Mark and I will agree to add in a certain sum of our money, so that we are able to get it.

Then we sit with the list, remind the kids what they've chosen to give, and we take turns praying. We thank God for His generosity to us, we pray for the gifts we have carefully chosen, and we ask God to bless those who would receive them, and that He would multiply each one.

Would you consider giving this type of gift this Christmas? Here are two organizations I heartily recommend:

Samaritan's Purse~Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog
Compassion International~Gifts of Compassion Catalog

"Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion for the world is to look out;
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now."
~Saint Teresa of Avila


  1. What a wonderful tradition, Stacy! I love that you guys do this as a family. One of those catalogues came in the mail to our house a few weeks ago and I spent some time looking at and talking about the pictures with some of my little people. It was precious to see them begin to understand why it would be one of the best presents ever for a child in another country to receive a goat... or a cow.
    I look forward to hearing what each of your children chose to bless others with this year!
    rebecca m

  2. This is a beautiful tradition. I was actually just thinking of this type of thing today. How old were your kids when you started this Christmas tradition?

  3. We did do this, this year but I love the dollar bill idea so the kids can really get it. My only problem is we don't have dollar bills in Canada so it would be stacks of coins. :o)

  4. This is so creative and wonderful with the $1 idea. Gives the kids a sense of how much things cost and the real sacrifice of giving to others.
    Your familoy is an inspiration!

  5. We're going to choose a gift or two from the Gifts of Compassion catalog this year. :)

  6. Rebecca~
    YES! It is so good to begin this type of understanding early on... they get it. :)
    My kids love giving the baby chicks~ because they see firsthand how *we* are fed through our hens laying for us... :) Love it.

    I think we began doing this when Ella was 5. I think children "get it" far better than we think they do, so I wouldn't hesitate to start some form of this kind of giving NOW, even when your girls are little. They will understand parts of it (and you're such a good mama you will explain it well for their level of understanding!) and you are developing the habit, and a heart for that kind of generosity from an early age, and that's such a valuable thing!

    Oh, stacks of coins are even MORE fun, I think! (They're noisy!) ;)

    Mrs. B~
    Yes! The $1 thing is really fun for them! Thank you for your kind words!

    YAY! It's so much fun!!! :)

    Love to you all...

  7. So precious to teach our littles about giving!

  8. This is a great idea - I will look into this too!! :)

  9. This is truly SUCH an amazing idea. I love it so much. Down to the going down and getting the dollar bills.


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