Shopping for Giving Tree Gifts

bekah Faith 3 Comments

As a parent, I struggle during the Christmas season with the balance of celebrating Jesus’ birthday, and encouraging my boys to bask in the wonder of presents and stockings.

That fine balance of gently reminding our children that the reason we have Christmas is because Jesus was born, and the reason we give and get gifts is really to throw our Savior a huge birthday party, and celebrate with our families.

And somewhere in-between reading the Christmas Story, gathering the family at Christmas Eve Service, leaving cookies for Santa, and carrots for his reindeers, somewhere between matching pj’s, hot cocoa before bed, stuffed stockings, and the anticipation of Christmas morning, lies the magic of Jesus’ birth.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

Some of my favorite childhood memories are held tight from Christmas morning. Following a breakfast of my mom’s amazing egg casserole dish, cinnamon rolls, and juice, we gathered around the tree, the fireplace glowing, starting first with our stockings, and moving on to the gifts resting under the green pine-needles and colorful ornaments.

I was maybe 6 or 7 when I opened My Child, a doll that I’d dreamt about forever, with a soft, human-like face and perfect features. All morning, I stared at my new doll, playing with her hair, fingering her cheeks, taking in the wonder of her detailed dress. She was my very own, and she didn’t leave my side all day. Or, for the years to come.

It was pure magic. Innocent wonder and awe, and a deep appreciation for such a treasured gift. And I want my boys to have that same enthrallment with unwrapping gifts. I can’t wait to watch their eyes grow wide, and hear their delighted shriek at opening a gift that we know they will love, play with, and share with friends. Nothing in me wants to stifle that feeling, or be Scroog-ish about Christmas when it comes to gift-giving.

It’s just that I want them to know why we give and get gifts. Why we spend hours thinking of the perfect surprise for their cousins, or grandparents, or teacher… because Jesus is the better than anything we can open with wrapping paper and ribbon!

Our church does something really cool, that helps our family blend the joy of gift giving, with the true JOY of celebrating Jesus’ birth ~

A Giving Tree with a twist, one could say.

People can grab a Giving Tree Tag, and buy a gift card in the specified dollar amount.

Volunteers, then take the gift cards, and buy presents for a child with a specific age and gender.

Our family volunteered to buy gifts with the donated gift cards and


We were given $60 in Target gift cards to choose four gifts for children~ 2 boys and 2 girls, 0-2 years old.

Before we left, we sat with our boys and eagerly shared.

{Cliff notes version}

What is Christmas Day about?
Jesus’ birthday!!

And why do we get to buy presents for other people, and get presents in return?
To celebrate His birthday!


Do you know that some families don’t have enough money to buy gifts, or get gifts on Jesus birthday?

We get to do something really cool!
We get to go to Target and buy presents for four little kids so that they’ll have presents to open on Christmas Day! 
Do you want to pick out something for them, that you think they would really, really like?


Let’s go!

Up and down the toy aisle we went, Tanner and Ty looking, pointing, and shrieking at toys they thought the kids would like.

They decided on loud, musical, hands-on toys for the boys.

And a baby doll, and grocery shopping cart for two little girls.
Here, Ty is taking in all the pink. If I’m really honest with myself, I’m sure he was trying to poke her in the eye too. Especially because she had the eyes that open and shut. Needless to say, he was beyond intrigued.

After holding the gift cards in his pocket during the shopping excursion, Tanner handed them over to purchase the children’s presents.
On the way home, we soaked in the excitement the boys and girls would feel, when opening the Christmas gifts.
Happy Birthday to Jesus, and joy to those families.
And as Tanner said quietly, before we pulled into the driveway,
“Those kids are going to be really, really happy.”
It may not be the Christmas paper, bows, tags or sparkly ribbon, it may not even be the gift itself, but for our family, going to Target and getting four gifts for two little boys, and two little girls, it was the closest we’ll come to giving a gift to the King, Himself.
Happy Birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas little ones!

Comments 3

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