Every year I get photo cards done of my two kids and send them out to close friends and family for the holidays. In years past, I really enjoyed doing this. However, the cost accrued and time spent with making the cards, labeling and sending them out only to be (for most) tossed out shortly after the holidays has lost its zest for me. I for one, had always loved to get cards from others of their families and I would tape them above my molding in my kitchen and leave them up all year long. I would only take them down the following year when I got new cards and would compare the two to see how much the kids grew. Over the last couple of years I noticed little by little, I wasn’t getting as many as I used to. People were just not sending out Christmas cards anymore, it made me wonder.
This year, I decided that instead of sending cards out I would do something different. I announced on facebook and tagged most of my family and friends who would have received a card from me and told them that in lieu of producing and sending out cards this year, I was going to use the money to help a local family in need.
Let it be known that I am not saying this to toot my own horn, instead I wanted to explain what transpired that led up to this decision. I was on a local mom group and one mom was reaching out for a friend in need. She stated that her friend was a mom of 3 (one newborn) and her fiance was laid off and that they had fallen on rough times. All she wanted was to be able to give her kids a gift on Christmas day.
I put myself in her shoes and quickly reached out and asked how I could help. I gathered some clothes and toys from my house. In doing so, I was able to teach my son and daughter another lesson in the act of giving. I told my son to give me what he would like to give to a little boy who doesn’t have much. He gathered up some Legos and I asked him for his Rick Riordan books as the friend mentioned the little boy liked them. At first he was reluctant but then I said “they are only books and you read all of them.” He replied with “yes, I know but I really like them.” then he turned around after a moment after thinking about it and handed them to me. I told him I was proud of him.
I drove almost an hour to meet her and in finally doing so I handed her the clothes, toys, books and a gift card to Toys r us to get the kids something for Christmas. She was delighted and gave me a big hug and thanked me so much for my kindness. As I left I felt joy to be able to help someone in need. Not only did I help someone but in doing so, I was able to teach my kids yet another powerful lesson in the act of giving this holiday season. I think I shall make this a tradition every year.
In a world full of instant gratification, endless expectations, and the stress of rushing to do, it is nice to stop and remind ourselves what this time of year is all about. If you see someone in need, please reach out and especially if you see someone in need as just so much as a simple smile… give them one of yours.. You never know who’s day you will be making. You may be delightfully surprised it may be yours! Happy holidays and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2014