Live for Family

Mom, Parenting and Family Holiday Blog

Teaching Children to Give Gifts with Meaning


I can’t disclose everything quite yet, but I can share that we are actively pursuing adoption and we have been talking to an adoption agency.  Actually, we have been doing so for some time now with many “ups” and “downs” along the way, something I suspect is rather typical.  So, you can imagine this changes our perspective greatly regarding life in general, especially during the holiday season and especially as it pertains to children.  Just the basic awareness of so many children needing a healthy family is enough to bring me to tears every single day.

I can’t hide the burden blazed on our hearts nor can I explain it all in one simple post.  We really don’t know what will come of our heart’s desires, but I’m pretty certain that’s not important right now.  So, while we don’t know all the details of how God will use our family, we certainly are willing to be a vessel used for greater purposes than self indulgence and that’s why we decided to give to those who don’t receive much. The gifts can be something simple like food and custom imprinted wall calendars all the way to a new bed or even a few extra clothes that people may need. 

Which brings me to what we’ve been teaching our six-year-old this Christmas season… to love others in every way capable.

A sweet friend of mine shared a book recommendation that has quickly grown to be a favorite of mine.  It’s called The Sparkle Box and has a sincere message to children and adults.


The lesson taught throughout the story is to love others by giving where needed and with purpose.

The story talks about how the fictional boy’s mother records acts of kindness that the family does throughout the season.  She writes them down on individual pieces of paper and tucks them inside the box.  On Christmas morning, they reflect back on those deeds and teach their child that those are gifts given to Jesus.  It’s a sweet story with a powerful impact.

I  keep it out, so as not to be a secret (and to remind me to write down our love gifts).  In the beginning of the month, it served as a reminder for me to begin scheduling and preparing room on the calendar for extra ways to serve others.  BUT, it didn’t take long for this to become front and center in our daily thinking.


In fact, we’re trying to get creative and recently had opportunity to provide needs for an orphanage associated with my daughter’s school.  It broke my heart to read their “gift” requests.  No one asked for a toy or other wishful wants, but rather for needful items you and I take for granted every day.  Toothpaste?  Underwear? Candle making supplies?  These sweet people are just asking for daily necessities of living.  It took less than a millisecond to decide this cause was a part of our Sparkle Box adventure.

In fact, we’re more aware of the needs around us than ever before.  I won’t bore you by sharing all our acts of giving thus far but I will say one thing we learned… it takes intention to step outside the usual, but once you do, it’s impossible to ignore the tidal wave of opportunity.

As for the slips of paper and writing pen, I just tucked a few inside an old tea canister and put that next to the sparkle box.


As for our family journey… all the recent times I’ve been a severely absent blogger were (and will continue to be) related to the many involved processes of adoption.  No, I simply can’t blog as consistently as I’d prefer.  However, I know there will come a day when every frustrating adoption detail is long forgotten and far outweighed by the precious child we get to welcome home.  Again, I  must remain carefully guarded in what I share, but I will update as allowed!

Much love to you and yours this holiday season!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *