A Season for Giving and Involving the Grands~
A few years ago when my grands were younger, I wanted to involve them in my Christmas donating activities. They were too young (mostly) to earn money for giving on their own, but I thought they could help me with mine--they weren't too young for that.
I decided we would participate in the Toys for Tots campaign sponsored by our community's Interfaith organization. I took each grand one on one (and if you don't ever do that, I recommend it--every kid should have some alone time with a grandparent!) for an afternoon outing. I explained to them that I wanted to give a toy for a child whose parents may not be able to afford toys/gifts this year. When we got to the toy store, I asked them to choose a toy that they thought a kid their age and gender would really like. They each picked out such a toy.
Then we delivered it to Interfaith, and they presented the toy to the receptionist. The receptionist alerted the behind-the-scenes staff and they came out to thank the child and explained to my grandchildren that it would make some kid very happy.
Then we preceded to enjoy our outing as we usually did back when they were young(er). We took the trolley to Market Street, and stopped by the cupcake shop to enjoy a drink and a cupcake.
My son and his wife buy and place ornaments on their tree to commemorate trips, customs, and their children's interests. Just like most of you, I'm sure. So it will come as no surprise to you that I bought a cupcake ornament to represent the time they helped me buy toys for those kids less fortunate.
I'm sure the seed of this giving was sowed in my mind when my big sister said she piled some of her grandkids in her car and went on a shopping trip. My sister is of the habit to buy clothes and toys for needy families at Christmas, and this particular year, she decided to involve her grands. They all jumped out of the car at the store and went in and bought clothes and toys with a needy family in mind. My sister met them at the check-out. I'm thinking that this models the behavior of giving for our grandchildren. So great to send that message to them.
I know so many of you do these kinds of things with your grands and much more. I would love to hear about it. Just use the contact page to share. We need to keep stirring this pot of ideas for sharing love and joy and family traditions with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Please write! And maybe this is one tradition you can add at your house--buy an ornament to commemorate the occasion! Those ornaments have even more meaning when they represent something they did with YOU!
December 5th addition~
You'll notice in my "Final Thoughts" paragraph, I asked readers for their stories. A sweet friend responded with her story:
"Last year when I went back home for Christmas, I had my youngest grandson, age 14, with me. I wanted him to see and experience how much better it is to give rather than receive. I told him we were going to give $100 to a complete stranger. We said a little prayer that we would be giving it to the most deserving person. We went to a big-box discount store and walked around the store and even observed the people in the check-out line. We simply did not get the right vibes (to use a '60's word) and we left. Next we went to a store across town. There we saw a young mother with a toddler in her basket. She was looking at toys and finally selected one small toy. She had such a sweet face and demeanor, and I just knew she was the one. My grandson and I looked at each other, and I could tell from the look on his face, he agreed. We walked up to her, gave her the $100 bill and said "Merry Christmas." She looked at us shocked and replied, "I just couldn't." We told her that it was actually a gift to US, and something we both wanted to do. She grabbed us, and gave us a big hug. Then she looked up to the heavens and said, "Thank you, Lord." We all got tears in our eyes. I really think this holiday episode made my grandson understand the lesson that the Lord Jesus himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Love hearing from my readers. Please write anytime!
Merry Christmas and happy HOLY days to all!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!