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It is better to give than to receive

To use Christmas as an opportunity to explore what it means to give.

by Rebecca Parkinson

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use Christmas as an opportunity to explore what it means to give.

Preparation and materials


  1. Explain to the children that you are going to show them some pictures. Ask them to look carefully at them and at the end guess what all the pictures have in common. Show the selection of pictures above.
  2. What is the link between the five pictures? The answer is that they all show some aspect of giving: giving a flower; giving money; giving love/care/affection; Father Christmas – presents!; giving a kiss.
  3. Remind(!) the children that Christmas is fast approaching. Ask them to share some of their favourite things about Christmas.
  4. Explain to the children that while it is wonderful to receive lovely presents at Christmas, Christians also believe that Christmas is a special time of giving. It is at Christmas that Christians remember God giving a very special gift to the earth – the gift of his son Jesus.
  5. A verse in the Bible states: ‘It is better to give than to receive’ (Acts 20.35). Ask the children what they think this means and whether they think this could be correct.
  6. Another verse in the Bible says that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9.7). What do they think this means? Is it important that we should give cheerfully? What would the difference be if we gave ‘un-cheerfully’? Ask the children to imagine what they would feel like if someone gave them a Christmas gift but before they handed it to them they announced that they really didn’t want to give them a present. How would they feel?
  7. Remind the children that Christmas is a wonderful time of receiving but it is also an opportunity to give to other people. Giving doesn’t need to cost a lot of money – as in the above pictures. It may be that we could make a card or present or simply give love or care to others.

Time for reflection

Think about the words ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ Is there someone that you could ‘give’ to this Christmas time? Remember that presents don’t need to be expensive – even a smile may be a gift to someone who is lonely.

Dear God,
Thank you for Christmas and the reminder that you gave the special gift of Jesus.
Thank you for all the lovely presents we will receive.
Please help us to remember to think about other people
and to see what we can give to them to make their Christmas extra special.


‘I will give to you’ (Come and Praise, 59)

Publication date: December 2009   (Vol.11 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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