It begins with a very young couple just married not having enough money for each other a Christmas gift their first Christmas together. They came up with the idea of putting all their loose change in a jar every evening for the whole month of December and whatever there was in the jar at Christmas Eve, they would divide and use the money for each other a gift to put under the tree. The first year they only saved $13.00 for each other a gift. However, they decided to continue the tradition for each subsequent Christmas after that starting earlier and earlier in the year so they would have more to spend when Christmas rolled around. After they had their first child, a daughter, they divided the change in the jar including her as well. One year when their daughter was about six years old, they were taking their Christmas jar to the bank to get the coins turned into dollars. On the way to the bank, the daughter sees this woman sitting on the curb crying. She goes to her side and talks to her, then quietly leaves the Christmas jar filled with money by her side. The mother and father could not scold her, but gently told her that was a very sacrificial thing to do on Christmas Eve. Then it was decided year after year by this family to follow the tradition of giving their Christmas jar to someone needy. The blessings were so many to recount that at the end of the father's life and after his funeral, so many people came to pay their family tribute for helping them out in dire times by bringing jars and jars to their doorstep with many many stories of how that Christmas jar gave them a new start and new outlook on life.
Giving is so prevalent at this time of year----but is it truly sacrificial? I think God would approve of us giving in a sacrificial way to one of his needy children. There are thousands of ways to give other than money. Maybe God will lead you to figure a way to give sacrificially this year to someone who is less fortunate than we are. Giving of our time to someone who is lonely in a nursing home, helping feed the hungry at a mission house, giving a toy to a child who would otherwise not have one, decorating a tree and taking it to a home who could not afford one, volunteeering your time to a young mother with small children to allow her time to herself. So many ways to let other people know you care and wish for them a merrier Christmas and a blessed new year.
Maybe even the idea of a Christmas jar for next Christmas appeals to you---all it would cost you is your small pocket change every evening placed in a jar. God will show you who might be blessed by that small change next Christmas. If you have small children, it would be an excellent way to teach them that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
May your Christmas be merry and bright!