single mom

Operation: Gratitude, part 2

First, I have to admit to something: I cheated.

BUT I didn’t buy the two pairs of boots on Beyond The Rack that I was totally in love with and instead, went out and got all of my Operation Christmas Child goodies during my (three hours behind schedule) lunch without F. I have to admit… I chickened out on bringing him anywhere near a toy section. And I will also admit that I bought him a small treat to make sure that he’s not feeling badly about this whole giving toys away thing… which he will get after everything else is finished. In case you’re interested, it’s a box of crayons. From Dollarama.

It hadn’t really occurred to me that a 2-4 year old boy wouldn’t be the easiest to shop for, and considering I only have a shoe box worth of stuff to choose from, I had to really put on my thinking cap. I picked up some socks, a storybook, crayons, a notebook, a t-shirt, and a canvas bag which this little boy can decorate and carry his things in. I also got him toothbrushes, soap and a stuffed animal. I tried to find candy that was individually wrapped, but then I realized that when F was two years old I wouldn’t have given him any candy at all, so I decided to give up. I may change my mind yet.

Finley with our OCC box!

Now that the present itself is taken care of, it’s time to start writing a letter so I asked F to tell me what he’d like to say to a little boy at Christmas. We started working on our letter but didn’t finish it, so you’ll have to wait until tonight or tomorrow for the final draft.

Christmas is such a commercial holiday for us here in North America that even the best of us get wrapped up in the excitement of shopping for and wrapping and opening gifts that we forget what Christmas is supposed to be about. Even a family who doesn’t observe Christmas as a religious occasion can agree that Christmas is about love and family.  

I am guilty of making Christmas about Santa Claus for F, and while I don’t think that’s a crime in itself, I believe that I’m robbing F of the true meaning of Christmas by letting Santa and his elves have all the glory. As we get closer and closer to the most wonderful time of the year, I look forward to reading The Christmas Story as much as The Night Before Christmas. I’ll look forward to telling F about Baby Jesus and the miracle of love, and you better believe I’ll love using “the elves are watching!” as a method of modifying his behavior. In addition to the toys and the movies and the fun that F will be getting this Christmas, I want to give him more.

I’m giving him the gift of gratitude. Of love. Of sharing. And, most of all, of giving.

One thought on “Operation: Gratitude, part 2

  1. What a wonderful way to teach your child about giving back. I want to do something with my kids. I think I may have found something but I need to learn more about it. You are such a great mom! Good for you!


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