While Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of year, it does come with one downside: stuff! Looking at all the presents under our tree, I’m guessing my three year old is trying to figure out what each box holds. At the same time I’m also trying to figure something out…where I’m going to put all of this!
So tonight I decided to take some preemptive measures. I got out the box of large trash bags and headed down to our basement. My daughter was already down there, playing with her brother. She saw the box of bags and asked what I was doing. “Well, how would you like to help some other boys and girls?” The great thing about three year olds is that they love to help…well, most of the time anyways. She was on board so I explained that she had a lot of toys…and that some kids don’t have any. I asked if she wanted to help me go through and find some toys that we could give them.
The two of us were now on a mission.
Within just 15 minutes we had three large bags filled to the top: one with just stuffed animals and two others with other toys and books.
I loaded up my car with the bags and my daughter, and we headed out.
Unfortunately though, we weren’t gone for long. Turns out I didn’t do a good job planning…the two places I wanted to go with our donations were both already closed. My daughter was disappointed. “But I want to help boys and girls,” she said. “You will, honey…you will. We’ll go out first thing in the morning.”
And we did.
Since it was a new day, I decided we needed to double-down and make our act of kindness twice as good…after all, now it represents two days.
We took the two bags of toys over to Goodwill. We pulled up, dropped off the bags and were on our way. 30 seconds in and out. It doesn’t get easier than that.
Our other stop took a little bit more time, but was so worth it. We pulled into the police station. I had a bag of stuffed animals in one hand, and a huge box of donuts in the other. This stop was going to help two groups of people…little ones who need to find comfort during difficult times and police officers who deserve to be thanked for all that they do.
We waited a few minutes for the officer to come out. “These are to help boys and girls!” My daughter has a fabulous memory…she knew exactly what we were doing. Interesting fact in case you didn’t know…every police officer carries something very important in their trunk: stuffed animals. Any time they have a situation with a child, (abuse, neglect, whatever) they give them a stuffed animal to try and make them feel a little better. In other words, these stuffed animals that had just been sitting in our basement were now going to serve a very valuable purpose.
Then I explained that the donuts were for the officers to say thank you. The officer was incredibly gracious and so nice to my little girl. He went in the back and brought out a bag of goodies for her. Then he knelt down to be at her level and he thanked her. “Thank you so much…this is going to help a lot of little kids.” As a parent, this was a great moment for me. Madeline smiled, proud…knowing that she was doing something good.
This was Christmas Eve. I can’t think of a better way to have spent my morning…helping those less fortunate, being able to give kids something to cuddle when they need it most, thanking a team of people who are selfless, brave and kind…and yes, cleaning out my house. 🙂 Christmas is about giving…I loved that my daughter understood this and wanted to “help boys and girls”.