Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Helping ...

Husband and I are rarely on the same page when it comes to gifts. I love them! I love giving gifts and I love receiving them. I love what gifts can say about a relationship … that we’re paying attention to each other, that we care.

Husband, on the other hand, is much more practical. He prefers giving and receiving gift cards. I see the logic; I do. I just take a different approach.

This time of year, however, we absolutely agree on one very important thing … that our family is blessed beyond measure. We already have more than we could ever want or need, even if our five-year-old begs to differ!

To that end, we started sponsoring gifts for foster kids a few years ago. We agree to forego gifts for each other so that we can help fulfill the wishes of these children. My desire for gifts for myself goes right out the door (mostly), and Husband’s desire to not get bogged down in all the ‘things’ also disappears. We’re able to focus on helping others.

This year, because we asked, we were given a bit of background information on some of the kids. We wanted to be sure and buy things that they need, but also gifts that will really put a smile on their faces. It is so bittersweet to balance the joy of helping others with the reasons why they’re in need.

I look at my own kids and can’t imagine how broken their little hearts would be if they were separated from us or each other at Christmas (or any other time). I think about how difficult these foster kids’ lives must have been in the first place that a youth home could be a ‘better’ place to spend the holidays. I think of all of the love and comfort and security and joy they have missed out on in their very young lives.

It’s true that I have gone a bit overboard in gift buying, but I don’t mind. I might have spent my fall bonus before it has even been paid (something that is very unlike me), but that’s okay. Husband has graciously handled all of the mail packages that have been arriving daily. He has not once asked me to be better organized or to work faster.

We may have become a little overwhelmed trying to keep everything organized, but we’re more overwhelmed with the mixture of emotions – joy and sorrow and gratitude and pain. Okay, maybe Husband is more overwhelmed with the things than the emotions, but I’m struck by it daily.


I can’t imagine my kids being excited to open pants and shoes on Christmas morning, but those lone items were on one child’s wish list. I hope and pray that we’re able to brighten up their holidays and bring them a little bit of joy during such a difficult time. If you’re reading this, I hope you’ll say a little prayer for kids everywhere who will spend the holidays worried or scared or sad or alone.  

Will you also consider finding a child in your community to support this holiday season? There are angel trees at many stores and churches, or children's programs can point you in the direction of a family in need.

I'm linking up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say today ...
pour your heart out


4 comments:

  1. I love that you did this! Such a sweet and caring way to help!

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    1. Thanks. I literally cannot stop buying for them. :(

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  2. This is one of our favorite things--Baby Gray included--to do. I went out Black Friday at midnight (I was wide awake and everyone else was asleep) and the first thing I happened upon was an Angel Tree. I grabbed a kiddo and got to work. I think it's my new tradition with myself.

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    1. It's bittersweet, and I definitely go overboard ... but so worth it. Glad you were able to work it into your Black Friday fun (or madness? I didn't venture out this year!)...

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