As a kid, it's hard to see the big, wide world outside your own tiny bubble of existence. (Heck, it's not easy even as an adult sometimes!) That's why I've made it my mission to try to teach my kids to help out people in need. And one of my favorite holiday traditions for our family is to help fulfill the Christmas wish list of a child in need.
For the past five years, my twins and I have selected a boy and a girl from the elementary school's Sharing Committee who have provided a list of things he/she "needs" and "wants". And every year, my husband and I sit our own kids down and explain to them that not every mom and dad is able to buy a bunch of presents at Christmas. We remind them that we are not the richest, nor are we the poorest of their friends, but we can certainly do what we can to make someone's holiday a little brighter.
So as a family, we all pile into the car and head to Target on a very special shopping excursion. Sure, my kids often get distracted by all the flashing/talking/blinking toys that they want for themselves, but in the end, we come home with a bundle of goodies for somebody else's kids that have been hand-picked by both my daughter and my son. It amazes me every time how involved they get with the selection process of the gifts!
Now, I don't know for sure how meaningful this tradition is to them just yet, but for me, it is the true meaning of Christmas. I look so forward to creating this memory each and every year. And I only hope and pray that my kids CHOOSE to do it with their own families one day....