Gifts That Have No End

Holiday Help As the yuletide tolls and the carols are sung, my heart sinks low as I wander aimlessly through a myriad of stores to find that perfect gift for my teens, who are certain Mom will buy the tackiest sweater ever made!

Caught somewhere between childhood toys and adulthood needs, my teens are hard to shop for. It's easy, of course, spiritlessly to gather gift certificates and the season's trendiest sweaters. This year, though, I plan to give something more of myself to my teens.

I have hatched several ideas that I'm excited to share, and I challenge you, my friends, to join me in giving more of yourself this holiday season.

As far back as the birth of my children, I have tried to teach them that giving is more gratifying than receiving. From showing them how to share in the toddler stage, to helping them pick out gifts as middle schoolers, this has always been an important lesson to me. Now that they are teens, I've had to become more creative in my instruction.

This year on Christmas morning each of our children will find a personalized envelope tied to the tree. Inside they will find a note explaining that money has been donated in their name to their favorite charity. I can't wait to see the joy on their faces when they realize that they have helped make something good happen for someone else!

Some year painfully soon, my teens will have their own Christmas tree in their own home or college dorm. I want them to take something special along for the holidays when they are gone -- cherished memories of home.

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