Friday, December 2, 2011

Giving Season

It is that time of year when people are out buying gifts for one another, their children, themselves.  Giving to the one's you love is usually pretty gratifying especially when you get the looks of excitement and the words of gratitude.

There are volunteers ringing bells for money donations and boxes at the front of every store collecting food donations.  Giving to the needy perhaps isn't as gratifying to some because you do not actually get that smile or hug and the thank you praises.  However is that really the spirit of giving?  Self gratification.

I think it is wonderful if you are able to donate money or food to a good cause that you can find on every random street corner this time of year.  However there is a good cause that doesn't always get as much attention and that is the cause of children without gifts.  Sometimes families are in a tough spot at Christmas and just do not have the means to buy their child a gift.  It's easy for someone who never had one of those Christmas' as a child to say "Christmas isn't about stuff, we were taught..." I've heard it time and time again.  It kind of reminds me of some lyrics in one of my favorite Everclear songs...

"I hate those people who love to tell you money is the root of all that kills, they have never been poor, they have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas"

True, Christmas is not about stuff, and hopefully families teach their kids that.  However children are innocent and know that their friends and classmates and other children they are related to are receiving gifts at Christmas, and they see other children opening gifts in abundance on tv and in movies.

How heartbreaking do you think it is for a kid to wake up on Christmas morning knowing that to them billions of presents are being opened that morning by other children around the world and to not find a single gift has been given to them...

If you can find it in your heart this Giving Season please donate a gift to a needy child.  There are usually angel trees at every mall.  Local children's services usually have lists of needy children as well.  Usually hospitals accept gifts for the children in their care because a lot of them are terminal and the families are completely broke due to their child's medical expenses.  Perhaps ask your church minister if they know of any needy children. And there many organizations that you can donate to online as well.

I know I may sound like I'm contradicting myself from the blog, Thankful Reflections.  I was talking about people were spending hundreds of dollars on each of their children buying them insanely extravagant gifts. Kids do not need tons of super expensive gifts, but nothing at all... I do not feel is right.  Unless the family does not celebrate Christmas and the child has been taught to not expect anything.  But the rest of the kids out there who do celebrate, they may not expect anything but they have hope in their heart.  Why not give them some joy and turn that hope into what can be a long lasting reassurance that there actually is some good in humanity.  You never know what kind of situation this kid is living in, perhaps they need that reassurance.

To be honest I feel so strongly about this because I was one of those kids.  I mentioned on my about me, Blonde Girl's Narnia Quest, that when I was a kid it was feast or famine in my childhood and that is just how it is for some families.  Not every Christmas was the greatest.  But one of the greatest Christmas' I can remember was a year when there were no gifts for me or my brother, on Christmas morning my mom's boss showed up with a sack full of presents just like a real life Santa.  It could have been like 2 gifts for each of us, I don't remember how many there were, but to me it was the equivalent to him dumping a semi-truck load of gifts in the front yard.  I do not remember how old I was, but I wasn't very old, and it's always stuck with me.  It was an early lesson on how good a benevolent heart can make another person feel.

If you decide to participate, a lot of times when you see a child's wish gift or list you'll see what you possibly feel like are extravagant things, sometimes these are things the parents wrote down because it's what they wish they could give the kid, and sometimes kids just want cool things.  I saw on an angel tree today a parent wrote down for their child they would like a wii racing game, my first thought was well if they can afford a wii then why can't they afford gifts and I immediately had to check myself.  We had video games as kids, but we didn't always have the means for gifts at Christmas.  I saw MP3 player, kids do not think about the cost of gifts, they just know they want what other kids have, my exboyfriends child asked for an iPod when she was 5, but meant MP3 player for music, it's just the typical thing they ask for, when I was a kid it was all about the Walkman.  A cheapy MP3 player is not so hard to get, 10-30 bucks is not a lot to spend on a child, especially if that is possibly the only thing they will be getting this Christmas.  Also, it's easy to think "can't the parents just go get them some cheap stuff at the dollar store"... or something similar may run through your mind, perhaps they can and unfortunately many really can not. It is no reason to validate yourself not helping out the kid because of resentment towards a hypothetical situation.

Even though you may not get that gratification of seeing a child's excitement when they open up their gift, and we as adults all know Christmas is not really about stuff, we need to remember it's also not about personal gratification. However it should feel good to know you are helping a child!

Perhaps find a place in your heart to help out a kid because no kid should have to wake up Christmas morning without at least one present to bring some beauty to their small world.

Below is the video to one of my favorite Macy Gray songs.  Enjoy.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

Much Love!

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