Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

I wasn't quite on-the-ball enough this year for us to participate in Operation Christmas Child, but we did choose another giving opportunity to benefit children.  Our local Chick-Fil-As also collect Salvation Army stockings, so we chose to stuff two for children close in age to Mister J and Miss M.

Armed with our lists, I let the kids select most of the items on their own.  When we still had money left over (I'd estimated what it would cost as I planned out budget for the week), I picked up a few more items and surprised the kids with them when it was time to stuff the stockings.  Here's what we ended up with:

Miss M's items for a 3- to 5-year-old girl
Socks, mittens, hat, headbands and ponytail holders, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a book, a puzzle, some lacing cards, flashcards, and a travel-size m@gna-doodle
It's nearly as big as she is!

Mister J's items for a 7ish-year-old boy
Socks, mittens, hat, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a book, three Hot Wh33ls cars, flashcards, hair brush, slinky, juggling beanbags, and bend@roos (truly fun for nearly any age)
That stocking is pretty heavy!
I was so proud of my kiddos for shopping their way down the lists to fill the stockings!  We had to be mindful of finding things that would fit into the stockings, and the kids also thought about some details that they felt would be important to the kids receiving these items: they selected the characters on the toothpaste, toothbrush, books, etc., and chose between different options for the toys, socks, at other items.  Oh, how much fun we had paying for the first round of items and finding we could bless the children with even more goodies!  And then, it was time to drop them off!
The bittersweet part of all of this is teaching our children that not everyone has as much as we have - tangible or intangible.  That there are people out there with few possessions - like warm clothing.  There were tears when we had a real-life example of people without enough food to eat.  We've talked about people who can't afford medical care or who are far from home because their child is very sick.  Thankfully, we are in a position to be able to do something to help - and I hope it's a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

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