Do you leave out cookies for Santa on Christmas? Have you ever mailed a letter to the North Pole? As parents, we go to great lengths to keep the magic of Christmas alive for our children. We understand the joy of giving.
I love giving because I remember the happiness I felt receiving. A faded family photo captured my thrilled expression when I saw a Cabbage Patch Kid under the tree. I jumped with joy. Of course, I had no idea that my parents searched dozens of sold-out stores before finding a Cabbage Patch Kid for “Santa” to bring. Now that I’m a mother, I can relate to the stress they must have felt while searching for that “hot holiday toy.”
Can you imagine how hard Christmas is for parents who cannot afford to “be Santa?” I never met my grandmother, but a family story about her childhood taught me about the importance of Christmas giving nonetheless. Her parents, recent immigrants from Sicily, filled her stocking with nuts and fruits rather than the toys her friends at school received. One of those friends told her that she must have been “very bad” and made Santa angry. In tears, she asked her mother if she had been bad that year. Her mother said she was a very good girl, explaining “We have a poor Santa Claus.”
My parents told me that story to help me understand the importance of giving. When I was little, my contribution consisted of selecting gifts for Toys for Tots drives. As I grew older, my parents encouraged me to volunteer and to donate a portion of my allowance.
Holiday toy drives keep the magic of Christmas alive, but they cannot possibly reach every family in need. On a local level, you can help by anonymously giving to a family in difficult circumstances or donating to a local school, church or charity.
Babble Cares has a special toy giveaway, sponsored by Target. Babble will be giving away 3 toys a day until Christmas. One deserving family or charity will win the grand prize of 20 toys. Enter below by submitting a comment about how you teach your children the joy of giving.