How do you show your kids that some kids aren’t as lucky as they are? That sometimes it’s better to give to others? I’ve been thinking about this since my daughter was born, and I’m starting early.
Until recently, my daughter was the only grandchild on both sides of my family. As a result, when the holidays come around, she’s been pretty spoiled. Our parents’ even give Easter gifts. When did that become a thing? It goes beyond your typical chocolate bunnies – things like toys or clothes. Of course, Christmas is the worst. I understand Grandparents want to revel in the joy of giving, but I hate seeing my daughter tear open a gift then toss it aside for the next. This year, much to the chagrin of my parents and in-laws, I’ve asked for more practical items the kids need instead of want.
But I wanted to do more than curb the amount of presents. I want my kids to appreciate what they have and to understand that others are not so fortunate. Since my daughter’s first Christmas brought forth present mountain, I’d been thinking about what I could do to instill some sense of charity, giving to others and overall thoughtfulness as a human. This year, she’s 4 and I decided it’s time to start.
Inspiration came by way of the ever-helpful Facebook. A fellow Mom posted that she and her daughter were filling Love Boxes, which caught my attention. I quickly learned a Mom whose daughter fought and beat cancer started a charity to help kids that are still fighting their battles in hospital. They distribute the boxes to be filled for ages from NICU babies to 18 years old. Once filled, the boxes are distributed to hospitals in our area.
I chose boxes for a boy age 2-4, a girl age 2-4, and a boy age 15-18. I brought them home and explained to my daughter that we would be filling them and why. Last weekend, off we went to fill them and while it was challenging to keep her on task at times, we filled our baskets to take home and fill our boxes. I asked her to help me choose between a few items and asked what things she would like better as she fit into the 2-4 age range. To finish them off with a personal touch, and further connect my daughter to the experience we made colourful, heartfelt cards to go inside each box. When it’s time to deliver, I plan to bring her with me to hopefully inspire her to want to give more in the future.
I so want my kids to be thoughtful, kind humans. My son is only 3 months old, but I’m hopeful that if I am consistent with this new tradition, he’ll be joining in when the time comes as well. If there’s anything I’ve been feeling about the world lately, it’s that we need to be more considerate and love each other more.