If you’ve ever seen an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, you know the one thing Chip and Joanna Gaines value even more than shiplap is family.

In the latest issue of the Gaines’ quarterly lifestyle magazine, The Magnolia Journal, Chip revealed how he taught his kids an impulsive lesson about kindness and the meaning of Christmas, but almost missed a family dinner because of it.

Writing in his “Chip’s Corner” column, according to People, Gaines opened up about a Christmas some years back when he suddenly decided he wanted to teach the kids (Drake, now age 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 7) that giving Christmas gifts is better than getting them.

“They were still young, but we’d been through enough Christmases as a family of six to know how quickly presents can get out of hand,” Gaines wrote.

With the help of his brother-in-law, Gaines took the kids shopping for presents other kids might like, then loaded the gang in the car seeking out homes that looked like they could use a surprise. It turned out to be harder to find such a house. According to Gaines, every house they drove by looked empty.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking, as Jo was back home getting ready to serve dinner.

Finally, one of the kids spotted a house not far from the spot where the Magnolia Market complex now exists. “All of a sudden one of the kids yells from the back, ‘What about that house?’ and points to a few blocks ahead to this itty-bitty house up on a hill,” Gaines wrote.

According to the HGTV star, three moms and their kids lived in the house and were happy to see the visitors and the gifts they brought. Gaines was late to dinner, but he was also proud of his kids.

“When I think back to that night I marvel at their kindness, their generosity, and their ability to love those kids as if they were family,” he writes, noting that Joanna forgave him for being late when she heard the story and saw her children’s smiling faces. We’re sure she was shaking her head at Chip just like she does on their TV show.