Each year we take the kid, now kids, to the Santa’s Anonymous tree. We pick off tags and Scarlett has a very specific method. She picks tags off the tree based on the colouring skills. Pretty colours. Patterns. The mind of a two year old is an interesting place. This year she got to pick two tags, one for her and one for Logan.
After Scarlett spent a solid 15 minutes looking over every tag, using her specific method of colours and patterns, finally we got two tags and off shopping we went.
As we shopped, Drew and I took turns explaining what we were doing and why we were doing it. “There are kids less fortunate that you who don’t have anything to open on Christmas morning. Because we are so lucky to have warm clothes, food in the cupboards and toys to play with, we buy something for a little kid at Christmas time.” After a couple explanations, my very thoughtful and loving 2 year old got the basic concept of what we were doing.
“Kids need clothes Mommy, oh and toys! We buy them for them. I give to them?”
As we shopped, I couldn’t imagine not being able to buy my kids a Christmas gift. My heart started to ache. I can’t imagine how these parents felt. There were a lot of tags on the tree. This was just for kids in our city. This wasn’t for the whole of the island. It’s hard to believe that there are so many families in need, how many kids make a wish or write to Santa. I wanted to buy everything I saw. Blankets. Socks. Snacks. Games.
I remember my Dad taking me to the tree at a Dairy Queen when I was a kid. I was given the choice, I could have the gift or I could give it to a kid who wasn’t going to have anything to open on Christmas morning. I remember that thought made me so sad. Nothing to open Christmas morning…. nope wasn’t going to happen. After a couple years of doing this, it became a tradition for me.
I am very grateful that my husband and I can provide for my kids. I hope one day they know how lucky they are. They won’t ever have to know what going to be bed hungry feels like. When there shoes get to small, they tell me and I go out and get a bigger size. They don’t have to worry about not having soap or shampoo. There is food in the fridge.
After we paid for the gifts, Scarlett was very proud handing over the bag of presents to the volunteer working the table. She had a big smile on her face. She may not understand in full the impact she had on those kids but it’s a start.
I want to teach my kids it is better to give than receive. It really is. The best part about the whole presents thing at Christmas is watching the look on that persons face when they open the gift you’ve given them. I always take the time and really put a lot of effort into gifts for people. It may not be what they asked for but if it brings a smile to there face and warms there heart, that’s all that matters.
I am proud of my daughter.