Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Tradition, 2011 Edition

This morning we finally got to participate in what has become my favorite thing we do as a family at Christmas time: Heifer International shopping. We started this last year with our kids as a way to involve them in giving to others, and to help them understand that since Christmas is about celebrating Jesus, one of the ways we can do that is to help others and give to others. How do we decide how much to give? Simple- we match dollar for dollar what Santa spends on our family. This also helps Santa to be more wise and thoughtful about each gift that is given to our children, and helps him to avoid spontaneous and unplanned purchases. Santa sometimes needs this reminder of what the Christmas season is all about. It’s very easy to get distracted, and sometimes Santa needs a little reality check. (And we get to buy things like water buffalos!)

Like we did last year, we all sat at the table this morning with a stack of $1 and $5 bills, and a Heifer International catalog.

The kids loved learning about what different animals can do for a family in a different part of the world. The debated, did a little math, and made deals with each other, and finally settled on what they were going to buy.

Harper used her portion to get bunnies for a family.

Three bunnies apparently have “fertilization” purposes for certain crops, and multiply like, well, rabbits. She was pretty excited about it, and probably thinks she’s getting bunnies for Christmas.

Emerson wanted a cow, so she bought a share of a cow, and a share of a sheep.

The cows provide plenty of milk and cheese for a family, with plenty left over to sell. The sheep provide wool and milk as well.

Dane was all about the budgeting. He spread his portion out to get a share of a water buffalo, a share of a sheep, some baby chicks, and plant seedlings.

Water buffalos are used for sowing fields and also for milk. The chicks are given as a lot (10-50), and should provide lots of protein in the form of eggs and, well, chicken.

Aidan’s shopping theme was “things that can fly”, and he picked out geese, chicks, and bees.

Geese are used on small farms for their eggs, and the bees help pollinate crops and provide honey to sell to others.

We love sitting together and doing this every year, and we hope it's teaching our children to think of ways they can celebrate Jesus by help others.


Katee said...

If more people did this with their kids, I think it would significantly cut down the number of articles I've read about kids whining because they didn't get what they wanted for Christmas.
And Harper is way cute with the bunnies.

Adrienne said...

Great post! I like that Harper bought "bunnies so soft" and that Aidan's purchases all had a "thing that fly" theme. :)