Before I left my career to be a stay-at-home mom, my job took me into the poorest of neighborhoods. Having lived a life where I always had what I needed and more, it opened my eyes to how others live. I worked with kids who wore dirty clothes that were too small and who didn't always have enough to eat...it was truly heartbreaking.
It certainly put things in perspective. Making sure that MissyMiss had the matching accessories for her new Gymboree outfit seemed so trivial and crazy to even consider.
Last year my children received so many wonderful gifts. But, it didn't seem right that they have so much when others have so little. I also felt that they were getting too wrapped up in gifts and losing the real meaning of the season. Over the summer I contacted many relatives that we exchange gifts with and asked if we could stop exchanging. Instead, I planned to do more charity giving through the Salvation Army Angel tree at our Wal-Mart. Everyone was very understanding and I even told MissyMiss of my plan and she thought it was a great idea.
So...the other night MissyMiss and I went out and picked several names from the tree. We chose a variety of ages. Once we got to the toy department, we went one tag at a time. I told MissyMiss the age and boy/girl and she chose the gift. I was so impressed that at 5 years old she put so much thought into each gift and not once did she ask for anything for herself. She was so proud to drop the gifts off at the service desk, knowing that they would be enjoyed by another child. One the way out she took our her own change purse to put money in the red kettle. I was very proud of my daughter that night.
On another note, here is a pic of my family room. I am just putting the finishing touches on our decorations and will put up pictures soon!