Gosh I LOVE the Pre-Christmas ‘Christmas’ season. If there is such a thing?! It’s the best of the season in that it’s the time we’re asked to have thought…in advance…for other people: postage can take a while so Aid programs are asking for the early Christmas Card be written and returned with time to be processed and forwarded sponsored Children by Christmas for example. And, our favourite, OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD gets into gear.
Now, any religious associations aside, this is one of the easiest and rewarding ways to teach kids what the real emphasis behind Christmas and LIFE should be – giving/a generosity of spirit. Regardless of what we do or don’t have ourselves. And giving with JOY. Over the year we keep an eye on specials. When Target/Kmart/Best and Less or ‘other’ are liquidating clothing at ridiculous prices, my boys pick a shirt for themselves and we buy one the same for a ‘special friend’. When they pick a matchbox car as a reward for good behaviour (usually because they’re on sale too, let’s face it)) – one for them, and another they love for a ‘special friend’. Then there’s the shopping where they pick something THEY love, but is for someone else alone. A handball here, stuffed teddy there.
We wait and wait for the notice that collection is on and HOORAY! Together go all our little joyful purchases from over the year, boxes wrapped, pictures drawn, photos taken. And the satisfaction of handing it over to an unknown ‘special friend’…somewhere in the world, who’s likely never had the luxury of ‘childish treasures’.
The first year my eldest put the effort into creating a box, he was reluctant to hand it over! He so LOVED the things he picked. But he has the knack of it now and they each love it.
Being on a single (modest) income and tight budget it’s sometimes hard ‘giving’. But spreading this concept over the year makes it doable and extends the spirit of caring for others. Makes it second nature.
The other thing we start doing midyear is buying tins and treats that are on sale – I love how Coles do the $1 deals now!!! I let the kids pick up a couple of things over a fortnightly shop to put aside for our ‘salvos’ hamper. It’s amazing how it all adds up and how much you can GIVE for just a couple of dollars a week. We drop what we’ve gleamed when the appeal starts, all kids in tow, and they think a smile and a thank-you from the Salvos volunteers is the most wonderful thing ever. And, I agree with them!
BEST time of year! B-E-S-T!!!
Posted by beksie, 27th August 2013