Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giving is better

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”
-Arthur Ashe

With Christmas approaching I hear more and more “I want that!” “Can I have this?” and the toy commercials and catalogs are appearing everywhere. I am lucky because my girls have been pretty good about not asking for everything they see and are generally content to simply browse the toy aisles and leave without issue. And with everyone we encounter asking them “what do you want for Christmas?” “Have you made your list yet?” “Do you have our toy catalog?” and rambling off a list of things my girls had never even considered asking for I can feel myself cringe. Some days are better than others however and this year I felt especially sensitive to the amount of greed and self centeredness in our country in general. I was feeling really frustrated about it one night and started thinking about how to redirect the girls’ focus to giving instead of receiving and decided right there we would start to shift our perspective as a family.

I sat down and started making a list of people I knew that could use a little cheering up and local organizations I knew could use our help. I’ve put together a few packages to send out and it truly does feel better to give than to receive. It feels so nice to step back from the holiday madness and focus on people outside of ourselves. I knew I needed a better way to get Kinsley involved though now that she is finally old enough to understand some. I explained Toys for Tots to her and what it was that they did and now when we are shopping she always asks to pick something up for the “salivation Army”. She even used part of her birthday money (completely unprompted by me) to buy a Barbie to donate, so I think maybe the message is starting to sink in. By starting early we were able to pick up a little something each time we were out and make an even bigger contribution. We have quite a little collection going already and it makes me smile every time I see it.

Then I started seeing pins (Because everything you need is on Pinterest, you know) about people doing big random acts of kindness days. I adore this idea. Robyn over at Mix Mingle Glow did just that to celebrate her birthday and has some great ideas and a facebook page as well. There are some great ideas and I can not wait to have a RAOK day with Kinsley very soon. I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes.

Angel Tree

Kinsley was beyond excited to take in her angel tree donations today and all day long kept talking about "that sweet tiny girl" and how happy she hoped she'd be happy with her new toys. Though she didn't understand why she couldn't go visit her. She wanted to show her all her new stuff and help her learn how to do everything. It is so sweet to see her be so happy about doing something for someone else.

Since we’ve started this we’ve also been presented with a few other ways we can help out in our area and I can not even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to hear my little girl get so excited about helping someone. This mama’s heart is full.

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