Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our “Thanks AND Giving Tree”

We’re very excited about our new “Thanks And Giving” Tree. I found this idea on one of my new favorite blogs, Impress Your Kids. We talked about the word, “Thanksgiving” and broke it down into two words…thanks and giving. Of course, we are spending this week and next talking about the First Thanksgiving, but I also want them to understand what it means for us today. To whom are we to give thanks? Why? How?

James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord. So, of course, we are to give thanks to God for everything. This thanks should prompt us to give to others in return and tell of all His kindnesses. I love the verse that Impress Your Kids used to sum this up:

Give thanks to the Lord. Worship Him. Tell the nations what He has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

When the Lord blesses us, we should want to tell others. One of the best ways to share the good news of Christ is by GIVING.

I want to help my kids to understand this concept. So, I created a “Thanks AND Giving Tree” for us to do together the 10 days prior to Thanksgiving…and, hopefully, this will spur us toward giving throughout the year.

First, I printed off, colored and laminated a tree. Next, I used a die-cut machine to make 10 leaves with giving ideas written on each of them. After laminating the leaves, I put a velcro dot on the back of each leaf and on the tree. I also added dots to the bottom of the tree to have a place to put them as we take them off.

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Each day, we take one leaf off of the tree. As we take the leaf off, we say something that we are thankful for. Then, we read the giving idea for the day and place the leaf at the bottom of the tree.

This week got off to a slow start because of a stomach bug in our house. But, we were finally able to complete our first giving task…Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child!

Each child enjoyed filling up a shoebox (small plastic container) for a boy/girl that was his/her age. When we got home, they filled out the downloadable All About Me pages that were provided by Operation Christmas Child. We also plan on tracking our box online. It would be lots of fun to receive a letter back from at least one of the children! Afterwards, we spent time as a family praying for both the children that would receive boxes from our family.

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What a blessing it was to share the love of Christ as a family to children we will never meet. I’m looking forward to the rest of our “giving” leaves this week and next. I’m also hoping to make this a habit of our family. Our Family For His Glory has some wonderful ideas for family service projects. It would be great if we could find time each month to serve as a family!


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