“It is more blessed to give than to receive…” (Acts 20:35)
Children can easily become very focused on getting during the Christmas season. If we want our children to be blessed, and if it is truly more blessed to give than to receive, we need to teach our children to give.
Try this simple activity to encourage your children to give more than they receive throughout the day. Not only will they experience the joy of giving to others, but they will also become much more aware of all that they receive as they go through their day.
Fill a bowl with M & M’s (Christmas ones!), chocolate chips, or colorful buttons ( if you don’t want to use candy). Label two cups for each child in the family. Write “Receive” on one cup and “Give” on the other, and label both with the child’s name. (If you have non-readers in the family, draw pictures to represent “give” and “receive.”)
Read and talk about Acts 20:35 with your children. Discuss why it is more blessed to give than to receive. Talk about Jesus who gave to the point of giving up His own life in order to save us, and talk about how His Father exalted Him.
Talk about the things your children receive each day (food, clean clothes, surprises, read-aloud stories, etc.). Try to think of at least ten things they have received. For each thing, place an M&M in each child’s “receive” cup.
Then challenge your children to find all they ways they can give to others in your home. Every time they give to someone, they can take an M&M from their “receive” cup and move it into their “give” cup. Every time they receive something else, they should take another M&M from the bowl and place it in their “receive” cup.
Can your children keep their “receive” cup empty because they’re so busy giving to others? At a designated time during the day, or in the evening after dinner, help everyone count their M&M’s. How many people had more “give” than “receive” M&M’s in their cups?
Let each child enjoy the contents of his “give” cup. Maybe he’ll want to give some of his M&M’s to someone else to enjoy!