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Teaching Children The True Meaning Of The Holiday Spirit

December 19, 2011

5pm the Sunday before Christmas found my son and I waiting in the layaway line at a local Kmart. Not because we actually had an item on layaway but because I had read the article about “Kmart Santa’s” and thought this would be a great thing to do. It is truly amazing how having a child makes you really appreciate it when you can give that child what he needs and, sometimes more importantly, wants. Personally, I admit to getting very upset when I hear about children wanting for anything. Most importantly love but after that food, clothes and fun toys. So, there I was standing on line with the munchkin trying to explain to him (3.5 yrs old) what we we were doing and why we were not shopping for him :). The best feeling in the world came not when I paid the bills for two people with remaining balances but when my son looked at me and said:

“So mommy, we are here to buy toys for children whose mommy’s and daddy’s cannot pay for them. Can we buy a bulldozer for a little boy”

It was at that moment that I felt like I had successfully started to pass on the true meaning of the holidays to my son. No matter what holiday you celebrate, last I checked they were all about being thankful for what you have and trying to love others and take care of others. Since Black Friday when, instead of joining the hoards of insane shoppers, I cleaned out closets, we have been giving things away to charities as well as to friends with boys younger than my son. Each time we have had the opportunity to give something to someone in person, the munchkin has been at our side learning why it is good to give things to little girls and boys that can use them once he is done with them. In many cases, it is not a lesson in charity so much as one in recycling and preserving. While all of my friends can go out and buy new clothes for their children, why bother, if we have almost new clothes to hand down? If we throw them out and someone has to buy new ones the burden on the environment is greater than it needs ot be.

I hope that I am fortunate enough to make this a regular annual tradition where my son and I can help out those less fortunate than we are. As he gets older, I am going to challenge him to find an outlet for this be it purchasing layaways at Kmart or adopting a family for the holidays.

In the meantime, moral of the story: It is never to early to teach your child about charity and handing thing downs to younger children and the holidays have to be the best time for it. Make each child feel a little bit like Santa!


From → The Beginning

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