For the past 10 or so years, the kids have given each other gifts at Christmas. Some years we did acts of service, some years it was the Kris Kringle thing, others it was only homemade gifts and still others it was essentially a free-for-all, the only restriction being their budget (usually a hard-earned $5) and their imagination (often well-supplied within their budget by the op shop or the discount store).
This year, we’ve gone back to non-physical gifts. While the money they earn is theirs and the can indeed spend it how they wish, we’ve asked them to do an act of service for each other instead of spending money.
It reduces the excess of low-quality stuff that often creeps into the home this time of year and reduces the truly hideous sugary gifts that some in particular like to give.
So they’ve written letters to each other and placed them throughout the tree and it’s the sweetest thing to see what they’re going to be doing for each.
Some of the things they’ve shared with me:
– Making another’s bed for a week
– Playing the game that the other person chooses for an hour a day for a full week
– Being nice
– Painting nails every week for a month
– Polishing shoes once a week for a month
– Doing the other person’s morning chores
– Teaching another to play cards
– Clearing another’s bedroom of pesky mice (my personal fav)
I’m loving seeing what they come up with and with 6 kids that’s 30+ acts of service so hopefully the caring vibe will last well beyond the acts.