It’s officially December! Time for advent calendars. The kids opened up door number 1 and found a note that said “Santa’s Anonymous”. I do this every year, I have since I was a teenager, now I want my kids to be involved and understand what it means.
“What does ‘Santa’s a mouse’ mean?” my 6 year old asked when he read it. – Now, what’s the point in doing this with them if they don’t know WHY we’re doing it?
Will and I explained to the kids how lucky they are, that for Christmas they not only get presents from Santa, but also from us, their grandparents and other friends and family. Then we told them that not all children are as lucky as they are. We told them that some families cannot afford lots of new things and that because we are so lucky, we want to help those families get presents too.
I explained to them that we would be going to a store after school that has a special Christmas tree with paper decorations on it. Each decoration is a child and the decoration will tell us if the child is a boy or girl, how old they are and what they want for Christmas.They would each get to pick one and we would get the presents for those children.
They were excited about the idea. I made sure I was explaining it properly and emphasized that THEY would NOT be keeping any toys. They understood.
After school, we hopped on a bus to get the presents. On the way, the kids were discussing who they wanted to get gifts for. Jordan wanted to get a boy (because he’s a boy) and Cam (who’s 3) then decided she wanted a girl for the same reason. They were talking about it the whole way to the store.
I showed them the tree, they must have looked at every decoration on it! The two ladies at the table watched as my kids picked one after another and said “this one! … no, wait… this one!” Finally, Jordan decided on a little boy who wanted Lego and Cam picked a girl who wanted fancy clothes.
So, we signed out our selections and went to look for gifts. The Lego was easy as the little boy was requesting specific kinds and Jordan knows his way around the Lego section! So we grabbed a set and headed over to the clothes. Cam picked out two lovely dresses for hers and we headed to the checkout.
Once we bought the gifts, we went back to the table where the kids handed the bags and their decorations back to the ladies. There were jokes about how the kids managed to pick and pay for the presents quicker than they picked out their decorations! The ladies understood that my kids were the ones donating the gifts and they made sure to thank each of them by name and told them how much the gifts would mean to the little boy and girl.
On the way home I told them what a good job they did and that I was proud of them. Apparently the whole concept meant a lot to my daughter. Later on, when we were eating dinner, she made a comment out of the blue, “that boy and girl are going to be soooo happy when they get our presents.”
If you are wanting to make donations, there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are a few:
- Santa’s Anonymous
- Mustard Seed food donations
- Shoe and sock drives for homeless shelters
- Sponsor a woman and her children in a Transition House (similar to Santa’s Anonymous)
- Gently used clothing and toy donations (Salvation Army, Value Village, W.I.N., or Clothesline Drop Boxes)
* Value Village and Clothesline also donate to the Canadian Diabetes Association (which is, of course, important to our family) as well as many other non-profit organizations.