The heart of a child at Christmas
Some days blog posts just write themselves. You have an experience that you can’t NOT share – or is that just me?
Well today I want to blog about the heart of a child at Christmas. Perhaps it is just my social media newsfeed but I have seen a lot of articles about teaching our kids an atittude of gratitude and banning presents because children have too much. I saw one article with more than a handful of tips about how to talk to kids about being thankful for what they have.
My tip is that while kids may have selective hearing you can guarantee their little eyes are always watching. Gratitude is something that kids learn through doing rather than being spoken at.
Today i had both kids home with temps. Not enough to be flat in bed but not well enough to be at school. I went to the shops to restock chemist supplies and while we were out we ducked into Kmart. In front of us was the Kmart Wishing Tree. Raya, naturally, was curious about what it was so I explained that for the last 26 years people had been giving and donating and those presents were shared with children and adults and people who couldn’t afford a gift or who didn’t have anyone in their lives who would be thinking about them at Christmas and sharing a present with them.
Before I had even finished Raya was grabbing a handful “we need to get all those people presents mum”. While I would have loved to have taken every ticket off the tree we took a couple and went about the store searching for the right present. I told Raya – just choose what you would love and then we will buy that.
She was very thoughtful “I could get a DVD but they might not have a machine to play the video”. She also wanted to get them a book but wasn’t sure if they liked reading or had anyone at home who could read them.
And then because she is a little 5 year old who is drawn to everything pink we found ourselves in the toy aisle which had Barbies where she declared “I am going to get a really big one so they feel happy as soon as they open it”.
Cue blog worthy moment.
As Raya is collecting her big pink sparkly bath Barbie toy set she chose with mermaid doll a woman says “is mummy buying you that because you have been such a good girl this year”. I swear. Totally not my wording. Scripted just so.
Raya says “no we are getting a present for the tree for kids whose parents can’t afford to buy them any presents”.
I was looking on smiling at Raya explaining and understanding the concept. Then the smile turned to a mouth hung open in horror as the woman – still looking at Raya with a sugary sweet tone “well those parents should get a job like the rest of us and then they could buy presents”.
I was utterly gobsmacked. Firstly to carry around such a selfish attitude but then to have the audacity to speak such nastiness to my child.
But before I could say anything Raya just totally nailed it. I was SO proud because sometimes she is still shy with strangers but she just looks directly at this almost 50 year old woman and says “Christmas is for giving and having a kind heart, not just for getting lots of stuff”.
I gave that woman the filthiest stare I could muster. The woman who did look slightly ashamed of herself had moved away and Raya kept looking over her shoulder at the woman commenting “some kids don’t have any mums or dads, right mum?”.
Our kids do see it. They have pure hearts and while they may have toys strewn all over their bedroom floors I am sure that your little one would surprise you with their ability to feel empathy for others. Yes they may have 10 Lalaloopsy dolls on their Santa Wish List (or is that just Miss A) but they know, deep inside, that this isn’t what Christmas is about.
I hope in the hustle and bustle your kids have a chance to show you and others that they get the bigger picture and have a heart for Christmas this year.
Tell me – do you participate in wishing tree programs or helping the needy with your children at Christmas time?
Disclaimer – this is not a sponsored post. I am in no way affiliated with K-Mart.