We are members at our local YMCA and each year they have a tree angel program that gives needy children the opportunity to have a special Christmas. I thought this would be a great way for Jude to participate and to learn about giving.
I let him pick the angel off the tree and hand it in to the front desk so we could get the information for our angel. The angel we picked was a 1 year old little girl. The program requires that you purchase a complete outfit and 1 gift.
He was very excited to pick an ornament and after we got our information I sat down and explained to him, “not all little boys and girls get to have a big Christmas like you do. They don’t have all the toys you do, they don’t have cool Charlie Brown t-shirts like yours and don’t get to eat yummy fruit snacks.” (explaining things to a 3-year old can be tricky sometimes.) I told him, “we are going to go to the store to buy a special gift for a special little girl so she can have a very happy Christmas.” Then I asked him, “do you want to help me pick out a special present for this little girl?” He enthusiastically replied, “YES!”
So a few days later we went to Target together to pick out the perfect gift for our little girl. He helped me pick out some cute clothes, a fun toy and book. Then we went home and wrapped up the presents and he colored some special pictures for our angel.
Later that day when we returned to the YMCA he helped me carry in our packages and turn them in to the front desk. He proudly proclaimed to the desk attendants, “We got a present for a little girl.” He was so proud to give them his gift. He was bouncing all over the place with a huge smile on his face. The rest of the day he told everyone he met that he had given a gift to a little girl. Of course, they had no idea what he was talking about but he was beaming.
I was so proud to see him giving with a joyful heart. Each step of the way I tried to take a few minutes to explain what we were doing and why. I don’t know if he fully understands the concept just yet but I love that he has such a giving spirit.
Do you and your kid actively participate in any charity events during the holidays?
How do you teach your kids to give-back?