I read recently of a idea for parents where, when your child is starting to wonder about “things”, you take them out for a special time all by themselves and tell them Santa is about giving and now that they were grown up enough, they could be part of the giving, be a part of Santa. Then help them pick out a present for someone (a neighbour or a sibling’s friend or whatever) and help them give it to that person.
I like the idea. I wish I’d thought of it. Somehow my kids have all figured out that the joy is in the giving, not necessarily the receiving (years of lame presents (socks, underwear) help this learning), but we didn’t have a tradition about it.
And I’m still wearing the blame for lying to them about Santa and the Easter Bunny and tooth fairies and so forth.
I’m not hugely religious anymore – more spiritual, I’d say, with weird blobs of belief in various directions. But somehow (though it’s getting harder these days), I’ve always believed in the innate goodness of people, that somewhere in the depths of the most ignorant reprobate (#realDonaldTrump) there is a tiny flickering candle of goodness or kindness or hope.
I feel like a Pollyanna when I say it, but I can’t help but cling to that belief. Otherwise, where would we be?
Well, probably right where we are now…(sigh), but I have hope still that people will figure out a way to do good, to help each other, to choose the unselfish route. To favour giving over receiving.
I’ve been on the receiving end of this giving more times than I can count, and I feel so fortunate to have friends around who care about me. It’s lovely. I try to pass on their goodness to others, to share it around. I’m not always good at it, but it’s one of those things I am always trying.
So I know we’re all overspent and overfed and all that, but maybe we could take time to give to someone else, someone we don’t know, that cold guy out on the street, the food banks, the shelters. I’d give for Syria, but I have honestly no idea who to trust to be the giver for me. I’ll be making my donation to Feed Nova Scotia. They share the goodness all over the province, and I know they’ll be low after providing Christmas meals to everyone.
As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one!”, or as I prefer, “We help each other, every one!”
Happy Christmas and Merry Hanukkah and Blessed New Year (with no mistakes in it, as Anne of Green Gables would say)! Let’s channel our internal Pollyannas and dig in for the oncoming trials.
Being hopeful doesn’t mean you have to give up fighting for others…