The holiday season is rapidly approaching, whether you may like it or not. Each holiday season since Emma’s first, our Christmas tree has been filled underneath with toys and presents galore. I can show you pictures upon pictures from a total of four Christmases now where both my kids have not gone without. We have so many toys that we just recently went through and had boxes to donate. I am truly trying to teach my kids even at this early age that there are others boys and girls just like them that don’t have and are definitely in need of stuff, like toys for instance. Especially right now, after Hurricane Sandy occurred here locally only a few short weeks ago leaving many without homes, clothes, toys and so much more.
So after, we went through the toys and packaged them in boxes and bags, we were trying to figure out where we could donate them to help out those in need. I found a list of a few suitable charities, but then I also came across from a fellow blogger, Anna from My Life and Kids that struck a cord with me, read her original post here.
I bookmarked her post and a few days went by that were just absolutely crazy around here, but kept telling myself that I needed to look further into this. Then, my friend Bill, a fellow writer and blogger friend wrote an article about Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas, which reminded me that I needed to get my rear in gear on this.
So, finally today I went to my bookmarked page of Anna’s original post, I clicked on the link, printed the PDF with the labels and went to work. I also checked to see where the closest drop off was and found out that it was literally five minutes down the road from us. So, I picked out some perfectly good and like brand new stuffed animals my girls no longer even look at, got a shoe box out of the closet, used wrapping paper from last year to wrap the shoe box, affixed the label to the box, made the check out and then rubber banded the box closed.
As I was doing this my girls were right there and Emma even asked me what I was doing. I told her we were giving some of her toys that she no longer plays with to a little girl just like her that that may not have any toys. She got this serious look on her face and when I asked her what she was thinking she said, “But those are my toys.”
I told her, “Yes they were, but how would you feel if you had no toys and Santa couldn’t come to visit our home? You would be sad, right?”
She looked as though she was going to cry and told me, “Yes, I would cry mommy.”
“Well, this is how this little girl most likely feels and we want to put a smile on her face, right?”, I asked Emma.
“Yes, I want to make her smile mommy,” Emma finally answered.
The moral of the story is I think at three years old she understood this on some level from our above conversation and just wanted her to learn even at this young age that she should try to do for others. For this is truly what the holiday season is about and is not about getting all fancy presents for yourself, but about making others happy and trying to do with a little less to help those who are in need.
Charity starts at home and I want my kids to grow up knowing this. So to me this was so very important to share with them. Lily, who is a year younger, is still a bit young to really completely comprehend, but as I said earlier at almost 3 1/2, Emma after sitting with me while I put the box together and as I said having the conversation above seemed to have a better understanding of just this.
I truly love this idea and am willing to do this with my kids every year to give them a hands-on approach to giving just a small part of themselves back to other little kids who are in need.
If you are interested in donating and doing a shoe box too, please visit Operation Christmas here.
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