Christmas is just around the corner. I love everything about Christmas. I love Christmas music. I love decorating my Christmas tree. I love wrapping presents for hours on end and then watching them become unwrapped in mere minutes. I love the festivities. I love the smell of a blessed and bountiful meal. I love the laughter of family and friends. Most of all, I love celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior. It’s such a wonderful time.
As my children get older, I find that they begin wanting to purchase gifts for their friends and family. We have always made it a policy that we will provide a nominal amount so that the kids can purchase or make gifts for each other, but we do not under any circumstances provide our children with money to buy or make something for friends or extended family. We always allow them to utilize anything we have available and on hand to make gifts, but if they want to buy something they will have to earn their own money to do so.
A few years ago, Bookworm Beauty and two of her precious cousins were trying to think of something that they could make and sell. They thought of making their fun rubber band jewelry, until we talked to them about how common they had become and how many they would need to make and sell to make a reasonable profit.
Through much thought, they eventuallydetermined that they would like to make Thanksgiving pies to sell to friends and family. They began calling and taking orders. We planned a two day pie baking event to make the 20 pies that were sold that year. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. The payoff was worth it – for them– though as they each made enough money to feel that the effort was a success!
This year, when they approached me about hosting another pie baking extravaganza, it was a bit different. We had previous experience to glean from and they had developed their own baking experiences, which took the load off of me. Having the girls take more responsibility for this endeavor, we had them determine the details… flavors, price and recipes.
Today was pie day. 33 pies: Double-Crust Awesome Apple, Lattice-Topped Cherry Bomb, Perfect Pumpkin and Cool Cheesecake. It was such a delight to watch these girls dive in and pour some love into each recipe. Yes, there were a few flour fights. Yes, there was a tremendous mess – multiple times. But there was much laughter and joy filling this home!
Each of the girls has a full report due in two weeks analyzing their holiday business venture. They need to provide a complete profit/loss statement, list the full cost (including time invested and all expenses), and write a persuasive essay about whether or not they feel this is a worthy investment.
It appears as though they each netted a really nice amount. They were talking about some of the things that they hope to be able to purchase. What they don’t realize – yet – is the unspoken value of lessons learned. The list of life skills learned through this endeavor is something worth noting. They learned the value of perseverance, follow-through, and a hard day’s work. They learned how to research and make wise decisions on ingredients. They learned how to work together as a team for several weeks as they prepared for the day as well as working together on pie day. They learned the value of thanking others for their help, as they baked extra pies for those that were helping with delivery. They learned the value of having a small business and being an entrepreneur. Most importantly, they learned how to serve and bless others.
No matter what the age, children can begin to learn the value of hard work and how to earn the things that they want for themselves or others. The opportunities are nearly limitless. What creative things have your children done to earn extra money?