My daughter has instituted a new tradition for our family gift giving at Christmas. Who knows, maybe it will carry over to birthdays, anniversaries and other times of gift giving. I hope it does. It all started when I got an email at work this week from the county Office of the Aging, announcing that we could pick up an ornament from the tree in the lobby with an anonymous senior’s Christmas wish list. These seniors selected might not otherwise get anything for Christmas. I forwarded the email to my son and daughter. Both replied that they wanted me to pick them up an ornament. My daughter then announced that in lieu of a gift to them, she and her husband would like to have me donate to a charity in their name and put a note under their tree with the details of the donation. She said that would mean more to her than material goods because she has already been blessed in so many ways, and she would like to bless others not so fortunate. I replied that it was a great idea, and I would like to be included. I then asked my husband and son what they thought, and they agreed.
We all know examples of others who have given selflessly to those less fortunate. One example that comes to mind is Sue from Pennsylvania. When she was employed at a law firm, every year the employees would get a wish list of things from a charity organization that an anonymous less fortunate family would enjoy for Christmas. The employees would purchase all the items and give them to the charity, which would give the gifts to the family. One time Sue and another employee purchased a new bike and helmet for one of the children. What a blessed Christmas that child surely had. As Sue says,”Paying it forward is not only a great thing to do for ourselves, but what a great lesson to give to our children about the beauty of giving to others who are so less fortunate than ourselves.” Well said, my friend.
My daughter told me that our local food pantry is almost empty. She was told that one family couldn’t get to the pantry because their car broke down so they went hungry. She went to the grocery and bought food and brought it to the pantry. I plan to do the same this week. There are a lot of people who are going hungry in this economy. With the holidays approaching and the schools closed, there will be children going without food at home who would normally get their free breakfast and lunch at school.
What is your new Christmas tradition?
This isn’t exactly a new tradition, but for years I have been participating in the “senior wish list” deal. I love doing it and it feels wonderful. I usually pick three people. One year I wanted to personally deliver the gifts, but they said they couldn’t disclose full names for security reasons.
You’re right, it does feel wonderful. Since I can’t meet them, I put a Christmas card with the package, wishing them a Blessed Christmas.
Love your new Christmas tradition. I truly feel that it’s so much better to give then receive. I told you the other day that my son and I paid off a woman’s layaway at KMart. There were all kinds of toys on this so we knew that we were going to make some little girl (Easy Bake Oven Stuff) very happy on Christmas morning. Like Minnesota Nice, we would have liked to have been able to let this woman know who gave her this “pay it forward” gift but KMart also said because of privacy, she will never know who we are. KMart mistakenly gave us her name and address but we decided not to contact her. I guess she deserves privacy. Hope we all continue this tradition. It’s a great one.