I’ve been feeling abundantly blessed lately. I have a beautiful, healthy, smart, sweet, funny… I could go on but you get the point… daughter. I have family, friends, health, a job, a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, plenty to eat and clothes to wear (even if I’m severely lacking in appropriate winter attire after five years in Florida).
And as we approach Christmas I’m feeling especially compelled to give back.
I also want to teach my daughter to appreciate all that she has and to help others who aren’t as fortunate as we are. But as I’m learning, that’s a hard lesson to teach a 5-year-old.
The church where she goes to preschool was collecting toys for a giveaway program. I thought this would be a good place to start. The plan was to go to Target, buy a few things and drop them off. Simple, right?
We lovingly selected some Hello Kitty items. What little girl wouldn’t love some Hello Kitty coloring books and hair ribbons and stationary? My little girl sure would. So much so that she didn’t want to drop off the goodies in the collection bin. She likes Hello Kitty too. Those ribbons and papers should be hers, she loudly informed me.
Trying to explain to a preschooler that she already has a roomful of toys and we needed to give these to someone who didn’t went over like a lead balloon.
I ended up prying the bag out of her death grip.
Last week, we participated in V100’s Secret Santa program. We were given a 12-year-old girl who wanted a fishing pole, board games and hair accessories. This time, I did my shopping alone. I let Julia help me wrap them and she even went with me to drop them off. Without incident.
Whew, I thought she was finally getting it.
Then the questions came.
Why are we buying presents for this girl? Because her family needs a little extra help with Christmas this year.
Why isn’t Santa bringing her presents? Uh, oh, um…
(See above where I mentioned that I was thankful for my smart daughter.)
I wasn’t prepared for that. Luckily, she moved on to the next thing.
Can I watch Phineas and Ferb? Yes, yes you can. Here’s the remote. Watch all day. Do you want a cookie?
I think I’m the one who needs a lesson here. How do you teach your children to count their blessings and to help others?