This year for Christmas, I tried to make sure not to go TOO overboard with gifts for my children because 1. they don't need a million toys, and 2. they want to open gifts, then play with them, not open a bunch of gifts and end up with a bunch of stuff. In the midst of shopping for them, it hit me really hard this year that there are families out there who are in the exact opposite situation: they aren't getting anything for Christmas. And it breaks my heart.
So I quickly put a plan in action to give to some needy families. I was fortunate enough to get the names of three families, and my mom, my friend and I all pitched in to get these families the Christmas they aren't going to get otherwise. A Christmas they probably deserve more than anybody for their acts of kindness as well. Two of the three families have taken other family members into their care when they don't really have anything to give. What a great example they have shown me and they don't even know it.
In the midst of buying things for these families, I thought a lot about how I'm going to show my kids how to give instead of just receive, receive, receive. I'm afraid the world they are growing up in is going to give them a sense of entitlement, and that is not what I want to teach my children. I want them to remember to put others first, and give all they can. I want them to remember to treat others as they want to be treated. And the best way I can figure out how to do that is through example.
So instead of wrapping all the presents, and doorbell ditching these families with a bag full of magic myself, the girls and I are going through and talking about it all. My plan so far is to keep my girls up later than usual, and then take them with me to drop off the gifts
. It has to be kind of late so that the families don't see us running up to the door and running away-- we want to remain completely anonymous. And I'm okay with sacrificing their bedtime schedule to teach them how to love others. I want to share this great lesson with them. I want them to grow up and remember that Mom taught them to give.
We have chosen to look outside our family and serve. We've added some of those single-use hand warmers to our car to hand to homeless people as we pass them on the road. And we've chosen some families to take Christmas to. BUT serving doesn't just have to be to others outside of our home; everyone can serve someone in their own family.
Twin parents, you are SO lucky. Your twins have a built-in person to give to. So don't get overwhelmed thinking you have to create some grand gesture for families outside of your home to teach your children how to give. Start by teaching your twins how to give to each other. I'm sure you're already teaching them to share, and it's along the same lines. So how do you do this?
Let Them Create
Show them how to create a gift for their twin--draw a picture, make a card, fold up paper into a paper airplane, etc. Let them make the whole thing, and then let them wrap it up. Let them place it under the Christmas tree. Then when their twin opens it on Christmas day, love and happiness will abound from something as simple as some scribbles on a paper, or a folded up piece of paper. And what a simple gesture that will result in such a wonderful lesson for the rest of their lives.
Help them make some goodies for the people in your own home. Let your twins discover the joy in baking something special for someone special. And as an added plus, you'll probably have a lot of extra goodies, so take them to some neighbors you don't know and brighten their Christmas.
An Act of Kindness
Their age will determine the best approach to how they serve, but help your twins serve each other secretly. Help one of them make the other's bed, or clean up a mess for the other, or offer their twin a book
when they are sad. Giving doesn't have to be in the form of an actual gift; it can be a random act of kindness. Teach your twins they can serve each other.
And most importantly, remember the magic that surrounds Christmas comes from the love that abounds this time of year. When the world is full of love, and hate is pushed away, the world is just a better place. Start with your twins; teach them to put love into the world.
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*