Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Christmas Giving





I was recently mulling over our family’s budget for Christmas this year.  Every year about this time my mind starts to spin with ideas.  Ideas on gifts I can make vs. buy that will not only save the family money, but also get my crafty juices flowing (it’s more like droplets to be exact vs. a flow).

After the number was written down on paper as to how much we had to work with, I came up with a fantastic idea!

Every year Steve and I buy gifts for the kids that somehow, by January’s end (we’re lucky if it lasts that long), the kids either have no idea where the gifts are, or they’re broken.  This year will be no different…except I’m going to try something different.

I knew my idea was brilliant, but how I was going to tell the kids about it was another thing.  I had Steve on board.  He verified that my decision was the one we’re going with.  Alright, I have one on board, that’s a start.  But I knew telling the kids would cause great opposition.  I tried to prepare myself.  I spoke to myself and had my “speech” all planned out.  I was ready.  I gathered the troops and sat them down before me.

“Now kids”, I started to say as my heart was pounding.  I was afraid and nervous, but I let my words fly.  I spent the next several minutes explaining to them that we are so blessed to have the things we do.  There are families that don’t get a Christmas filled with gifts because they’re poor, very poor.  I explained in further detail that having a poor child receive a baby doll or even a Barbie, would somehow make their heart grow as the giver.  And I explained as well, that putting your needs, wants, and desires to the wayside to make someone else’s needs, wants, and desires a reality is far greater.
As I wrapped up my speech, I paused.  I paused in anticipation for the whines, cries, and fit throwing tantrums I knew were coming my way.  I was positive when the reality of not getting a single gift from Mom or Dad set in, I was in for it. Instead, I got:
“Mom, what a cool idea!”    “Whoa Mom, what an awesome thing for us to do as a family!”
WHAT?  Was I hearing my kids correctly?  The kids that came out of me?  The kids who fight constantly, are selfish with one another daily, and the kids that take everything I do for granted?  Yes, those were my kids.

After fanning myself from almost passing out from their reactions, I smiled and realized my heart was growing by leaps and bounds. I had felt at one point that this
was going to be such a sacrifice for our family, but was quickly learning that it really wasn’t.  And how selfish of me for even thinking such a thing!  It wasn’t hard to have to surrender my own gifts this year for another family that is in need.  In a need that I hope I never have to be in.

Our plan is find the families we will sponsor this year and to shop together as a family for their gifts.  We will all have a part in making others smile this year, while we smile even bigger.  And our plan is to make this our family tradition for years to come.

I was so worried about their responses to my request to be givers instead of takers this Christmas.  But rather, I was pleasantly surprised at their selfless responses.  Now me on the other hand?  Guess my gift request for a new Coach purse will have to wait until my birthday.  Gladly.


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