The Giving Spirit
We try to cultivate our children’s kind and giving nature all year long, but at Christmas time when everyone is doing a lot of getting, we try even harder. This year we are taking the kids out to help shop for everyone. They helped shop for their cousins, choosing items they knew their cousins would love and enjoy. They are even going to help us wrap them. But we needed a little something more. So we sat each kid down and explained that there are kids in this world that aren’t as lucky as them. Maybe they don’t have a mommy, maybe they don’t have a daddy, maybe they don’t have a mommy or daddy. Maybe they live outside in the cold. Maybe they don’t have any money. They are hungry, they are scared, and they are lonely. We explained that sometimes, somehow, people fall through the cracks of life, and there isn’t someone there to take care of them.
We explained how lucky they are that they have a mommy and daddy, and other family that loves them so much and makes sure they are safe, healthy, and happy. The almost three year old was the one to say how sad it would be to not have a mommy or daddy. And that they must be scared. We agreed, and chose this time to suggest ways that we could help them. Everyone said they could have their old jacket that doesn’t fit anymore, they could have some of our food, and they can have our pillow so they have somewhere soft to sleep. Of course these are all great ideas. So then we suggested that each kid is given $30 to buy something new for a kid that needs something. They could pick anything they wanted to buy for another child as long as it was under $30.
The experience was humbling for sure. We expected our kids to run straight to the toy section and buy something they wanted. They each chose a little differently. One found a big warm coat that came with gloves and a hat for 29.99. Another found new shoes for 24.99 and then ran and picked out socks to go with them. The 3 year old, always surprising us, ran and found a warm blanket, a stuffed doll, and a book that when you press the buttons reads the words to you. We asked her why she chose these? She said, “because at bedtime we read and cuddle, and they don’t have a mommy to read and cuddle with so they need this book and a cuddle baby.” Not going to lie, I think I cried in the middle of the store.
We have decided that this will be a regular tradition every Christmas for our kids. It will help them to see that they have life pretty good, and that they need to help others that maybe don’t have life as easy. What do you and your kids do to get in to the giving spirit?