“I’m going to give you a gift for Christmas,” said a friend of mine after our Sunday School lesson. I was about six years old and she was probably eight. I smiled, “Ummm… Thanks.”   I went off and the following week, the same conversation was had. “I’m going to bring you a present for Christmas”. I smiled again, “Thanks”.

Christmas came and behold, she gave me a gift. Six year old me politely said thanks and gave it to my Mum. Six year old me did not realise that my friend was expecting a gift in return; after all she had told me all these weeks leading up to Christmas that she was giving me a gift for Christmas.

Gift giving puzzled me. It was clearly not my love language.I have since learnt that giving and receiving gifts is a way to express love.

The English word “gift” comes from the Greek word “charis”, which means “grace, or an undeserved gift.”  If something is earned, then it’s a payment. A gift, in contrast, is an expression of love for the individual and is freely given.

Christmas is an important time of year and a wonderful opportunity to teach children many truths. Learning about meaningful gift giving is a valuable lesson.

DIY Christmas Gifts: Painted Bowls

Painted bowls are an easy and fun DIY Christmas gift.


  • air dry stay-on enamel paints (some enamel paints are not recommended for surfaces that come in contact with food, so just to be safe, don’t paint the inside of your bowls);
  • brushes;
  • bowls (we purchased ours for only $1.50 each at the dollar shop).


  1. Clean the bowls with soapy water, rinse and dry. Make sure the surface to be painted is completely dry.
  2. Using a clean, dry brush, paint your bowls using your enamel paints. (If you want really even layers, you can apply some enamel paint surface conditioner first before painting).
  3. Let your painted bowls fully dry and harden (about 10 days).

As we were painting our DIY Christmas gifts, Mr N (a now very chatty 4 year old) narrates his painting, “I’m painting a stripe here, and some spots. Yes, this one is for [G],”

The grace of giving has has everything to do with love. A gift reminds the receiver that they were thought about and loved.

God’s amazing gift to us is the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus. We don’t deserve this nor did we do anything to earn this. It’s a gift.

More Activities for Preschoolers

Three to Five: Playful Preschool is stuffed to the brim with tried, tested and loved playful learning ideas for preschoolers. There are 25+ ideas for preschoolers, ten printable resources and additional links to over 50 more activities. A great resource for parents. Download your copy here.

Games for Kids: Three to Five Playful Preschool eBook via Lessons Learnt Journal

N & M: 4 years, 5 months
November 2012
Lessons Learnt Journal
I originally published a version of this post on KidsActivitiesBlog.com

About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.

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