As a family we decided to do one last batch of donations before the close of the year. There are some practical reasons for this like the two bags of donations that were forgotten in the attic last time around and the fact that if we wait until after the first of the year we’ll have to remember where our itemized list is for 12 whole months if we want to claim the tax deduction. But it was also part of our new lease on the holidays (fb friends can read about that here). We have encouraged the kids to consider others every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Big Little One actually came up with the idea to give some old toys to other kids who may not have any.
When it came time to actually do the donations, of course it wasn’t so easy for the kiddos. What I finally did to help them a little, was ask how many present they thought they were going to receive for Christmas this year. The consensus was 10. So I requested they each come up with 10 items to give before they received their 10 presents.
Some of the giveaway items were very small, and I’m sure the kids are going to wind up with more than 10 presents each, but the point is they were able to let go of some of their belongings in order to put others first.
The Little Little One really shocked me with her open heart. Her adventure of course started with lots of screaming and “Noooooooo!” What felt like hours later, we finally got her to understand that there are kids out there who aren’t getting presents and could she think of anything she owned that she would like to give so that a kid could get a present? While she didn’t give up her most prized possessions, she did give up things I never thought she would. She gave one baby doll that she plays with several times a week (if you know this child, the fact that she gave up any baby is a miracle in and of itself) and she gave up a very soft stuffed animal that plays music and that she has slept with many nights. I did my best to make sure she understood these items were going to be gone (and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to give these things up, ’cause sometimes it’s hard for a mom to let go of baby stuff, too), but I really think she looked at what she owned and gave what she thought would truly make someone else happy.
If I could learn one lesson it would be to look with an open heart at the intentions of your offer and let go of your thoughts of the object. Thank you to my baby girl.
***As I’m wrote this, the Hubby finished putting the donations out and I congratulated the kiddos on their thoughtfulness and kind actions. As soon as I hugged the Little Little One she said, “And I wanna give the Diego tools as a present!” We FOUGHT over this item last night and she insisted it would not be leaving our house, so I let it go. This morning, she decided it felt better to give it up than to hang onto it for herself. Meanwhile, my own heart grew three sizes.