The Christmas season is among us. Festive music is playing, stores are buzzing with shoppers, and there are colourful lights everywhere. It’s especially exciting when you have little ones to celebrate with because they get so excited about Christmas presents and family get-togethers. My children are very fortunate to be spoiled with gifts every holiday season, as was/am I as a child/adult.
This past year I’ve done a lot of reflecting about all of this “stuff” that we accumulate and the connection it has to our happiness. The happiest I’ve seen my kids is when they’re playing with family members, when we are reading together, or when they are helping me decorate for a birthday party. The happiest I’ve been is when I’m with my family in those moments where nothing else matters but just being there with them. In the past couple of months I’ve found the ability to savour those moments and make more of them without the stress and worry that usually occupies my mind. And in those moments, I realize I’m not missing a thing.
This year what I want to give my children the most is a lesson in charity and giving. It’s been weighing on my heart and mind and I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be struggling to feed or clothe my children. I’ve always had all of my needs, and usually my wants, meant without question. I’ve always had a living room full of presents to open on Christmas Day. I’ve always had plenty of new clothes in my closet, tons of good food in my fridge, and a beautiful warm house to enjoy my family in. The only thing I am asking for Christmas this year is that people make donations to a local charity to help someone else out this year. I don’t need anything new. I’ve already got everything (and more) that I could possibly need and want.
I’ve also been researching the best ways to possibly show my children the importance of charity and giving. Today’s Parent lists 9 ways to teach your kids about charity. This year I will be taking my kids with me to make a donation to the food bank. I hope one day they will understand how lucky they are to grow up so loved and so blessed.