Saturday, December 31, 2011
The gift of giving. Pay it forward.
As a part of our handmade festivities I wanted to do something for someone we would never meet. This has been a part of many of my Christmases and this year in particular I wanted to begin teaching my little boy about the hope, love and giving of Christmas and how so many people have less than us. While we have our own struggles, he needs to understand that some people have nothing at all for Christmas, including little children just like him.
We went to the store to pick out a boy's gift and a girl's gift (my daughter is still a little young to pick herself) to give away too. This created a little problem as Xavier wanted the toy so badly. After some tears he came up to me a few days later and told me that he understood the toy was not for him and that another little boy would have it, and how he didn't need to be upset about it. I was so proud of him. It's hard enough as an adult to give away something you want for yourself but at four it's even more colossal. He was so good and tried so hard to really understand, it just made my heart burst with pride.
We put together a few things this year:
3 x new baby packs - a toy car, newborn disposable nappies, a blanket, baby wipes, outfits for baby to wear now and one to wear in winter, some little sample packs of baby wash/shampoo/lotion and a face mask and hair conditioning treatment for Mum.
5 x little boy packs in various sizes from 000 to 2 - outfits to wear now, an outfit for winter and a toy car.
All these packs used clothes my own children have worn. All pre-loved but in good condition and more than a few with precious memories attached. The little cars came from Xavier's own toybox, he chose them and we attached them to the piles. The hessian bags were purchased from Woolworths and I just love the tree design, the nappies were from my stash, the wipes purchased for the occasion.
All up I spent about $15.00 for all these gifts. I added a lot of time and love and labeled each clothing pack by size and a little note to say that there was an outfit included that would fit for winter time. While these were a small investment for us, I really hope they made a big difference for someone else.
We dropped all the gift bags, clothing packs and the two toys off at the local Salvation Army temple. I'm not of a Christian faith myself but I have found that the Salvos are helpful and loving no matter who you are. They took great care of my uncle and I'll never forget my Mum telling me they were the only ones to really give him support to live his life.
Anyone could do something similar next holiday season, or just whenever. For the sake of a few dollars possibly made selling clothes on ebay we took the opportunity to turn them into special gifts instead.
I heard once that the true gift of giving is to donate something you want for yourself. While I did not give away outfits with the most precious memories, I did give away quite a few that were special to me. I hope that if they were special to me, and had good memories from my own children, that maybe they could do the same for someone new.
Happy New Year :)