A business located in the same building where I work is participating in a “Secret Santa” this year. They posted flyers all over the place; on doors, in the elevator, and even emailed them. The Secret Santa gifts go to people in need. Here’s how it works: you select a heart from the Christmas tree in their office and this heart has the name and age of the person in need. It also states what this person would like for Christmas. My first thought was, well, Kyle and I are on a monthly budget to see how much we can save in one month. It’s a new thing we are doing and I’m loving it. You’d be surprised how much money you spend on “stuff” you don’t need, it’s crazy. However, I went down to their office after lunch with another coworker and definitely changed my mind. I almost cried like 5 different times. The lady at the front desk told us that one 50 year old man only wanted tweezers for Christmas. My God. Tweezers. How lucky are we? Seriously.
I chose a 1 year old girl, probably because I have a 1 year old, and she has a growing disorder. She likes red and pink and wants musical toys or clothes. I was only going to choose one heart but I wanted to take all of them. I ended up choosing one more heart. I chose a 7 year old boy (man am I a sucker for kids). His name is Thomas and he wants a firetruck or a glow stick. A glow stick? I can pick these up at the Dollar Store for Pete’s sake. Ugh. I get all teary just thinking about it.
While I was reading about all these people I started thinking about my own life. I started thinking about my husband’s life. I started thinking about my son’s life. All three of us are in good health. We have so many family members on each side it’s hard to count them all. My husband and I are giving our son 4 Christmas gifts (2 from Santa and 2 from us) and a bunch of stocking stuffers. There is nothing wrong with this. That’s not what I’m saying. I love Christmas and I love buying things for my son, but there are kids out there who weren’t dealt the same hand of cards. There are kids out there like Thomas who just want a glow stick, and that might be all they get this year. There are older people who have Alzheimer’s disease and have no family. There are middle aged people who have health problems and they don’t have any living relatives.
When I got back to my desk I was talking with a few coworkers who were saying their kids don’t understand how lucky they are and they don’t understand that there are kids out there who aren’t so lucky. One coworker said she should have picked a heart for each of her kids so they could give to less fortunate kids their age. I love this idea. I really love it. So that’s what I’m going to do. Andrew is just over a year old and I chose a 1 year old girl to give to. I’m going to give her a gift from Andrew. Each year I will do this. Each year I will give a gift from Andrew to another child his age and when he’s old enough to understand then we can make it fun. So next year he will give a gift to a 2 year old, and the year after that he will give a gift to a 3 year old, and so on. He can pick out the gift for the other child his age and wrap it and I think it might turn into something very special.
So this year I’m giving two Secret Santa gifts to two children who touched my heart. I’ll probably spend $20 or so on each one and I’ll simply take that out of my personal monthly budget. Who cares if I can’t buy crafts from Joanns this month, or order a pizza Saturday night. I’ll choose to do something crafty with items I already have and I’ll eat a darn PB&J for dinner because even this is something to be thankful for.
If you’re in a giving mood or if this blog post made you think a little about how lucky YOU are, I’ll give you access to a few links where you can easily donate a Christmas gift, or any sort of donation.
Toys for Tots – giving Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. Find a location near you or simply mail money. You can even request a toy for donation.
Make – A – Wish – giving to children with life threatening illnesses. Donate money to help make dreams come true for these beautiful children.
Salvation Army – gives to needy people all over the place. You can make online donations or find a drop off location near you.
Prison Fellowship – gives to prisoners’ children who did absolutely nothing wrong. Don’t blame innocent kids for their parents wrongdoings. You never know, helping one of these kids might help keep them out of trouble and give them hope for their future.
I hope this post promotes a helping hand. If you’re reading this I can only assume you either have a smartphone, a computer or a job that provides a computer. Even ONE of those should make you feel lucky for what you have (of course I know many situations differ so don’t take that the wrong way), but some people aren’t as fortunate as you and I. I know I’m only giving to two children out of hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of people who need and deserve something nice, but if we all give just a little, we can make a huge difference. Remember, kindness can change the world.