Christmas is for giving, and I don’t necessarily mean of the nice package with a bow kind.

I believe in our thirteen years of marriage we’ve only spent two Christmases actually at our own home. Having lived most of our marriage far away from both of our families, it’s meant traveling a long distance for the holidays.

One year, though, we spent it in our home in S. Africa resulting in probably the most memorable Christmas I’ve experienced. Yes, we did our usual traditions of making sugar cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, giving gifts, putting up a tree, and preparing a traditional feast, but we also loved on the “least of these.” In the sweltering African Summer heat, we had a birthday celebration for Jesus with the kids and orphans in the nearby communities we work in. As I watched my four year old daughter paint faces, and my six year old son hand out hot wheel cars to kids who had very little, I thought, “This is what it’s about.”

Jesus humbled Himself and came to the Earth as a baby. He was God in Heaven but He selflessly gave of Himself so He could come and die on the Cross. For us.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8</strong>

Christmas is for giving, and I mean of the selfless kind.

We live in a country where Christmas has become so commercialized and the latest and greatest toys are enticing our kid’s hearts. In the midst of our gift giving and our holiday celebrations, let us remember the heart behind Christmas, keeping with an attitude of selfless giving…just as Jesus did.

How do you teach your kids about the true meaning of Christmas?

Tommy Nelson has some great resources to help teach our kids the meaning behind Christmas. I love having these around all season for the kids to pick up whenever they want. I encourage you to check out the Precious Moments Christmas Storybook and The Pine Tree Parable.

Wife, mother, lover of people, photographer, knitter, blogger and world traveler, Jen Price has traveled to dozens of countries, not merely as a tourist, but rolling her sleeves up and going well off the beaten path so that she might get to know the people, learn the culture, and find the heart of the place. In 2005, Jen co-founded Ten Thousand Homes, an organization dedicated to bringing hope and homes to thousands of children orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently she and her family live between South Africa and the USA. Jen continues to travel internationally, camera in tow, with more passion than ever to tell the stories of beautiful people the world sometimes forgets. You can check out her stories and photos on her blog, I Believe In Love.