Ivy has been referring to Thanksgiving as "Giving Day" for the past few weeks. It really is about remembering to be thankful for all that we have been blessed with and then remembering that the Christmas season to come is all about giving to others. I want Ivy to learn this at a young age but it is hard for a 3 year old who wants EVERYTHING and who has a mommy who sometimes displays this "wanting" attitude too. It is so important to watch the behaviors that we model as parents and the holidays are a great time to teach our little ones about loving others!
A few weeks ago we were at Chick-Fil-A and that is when God began paving the way to teach Ivy about giving. With our meal with got a little flier about Operation Christmas Child and this was a new thing for me! It was a simple way to give to under privileged children around the globe. You pack a shoebox full of little wants and needs for a child.... small toys, hard candy, school supplies, toiletries, etc. You add a $7 check for shipping and this Christmas package is delivered to a child in need. SIMPLE! We were ready and then God spoke some more...
I saw the Operation Christmas Child local rep on the news and guess where our shoe boxes were going- BOLIVIA! This was not a coincidence. God was paving the way for a great discussion with Ivy. Greg and I went on a mission trip to Bolivia and a little piece of our hearts were left behind with those families. We continue to sponsor a child there, pray for the community, and would love to go back and serve again someday. This made it easier to explain giving to Ivy. We had pictures to show her and a way to really get across how little these people had.
Ivy was into the pictures. Of course she wanted to know everyone's name and by the end of it she was ready to pack a bathtub and a potty into our shoe box and send it on it's way. We made a list of the things we would buy and talked a lot about how this was not a shopping trip for Ivy. I was worried that it would become a battle about her. She is only 3 and this is normal but I was concerned. I wanted her to be excited about giving to a child in Bolivia.
We went to the store and she got to be in charge. She picked our some bouncy balls, a light up toy, a monkey stuffed animal, a pack of markers, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and a wash cloth. She was so happy to be buying these things for someone else! She told the girl at the check out that we were putting this in a Christmas shoe box :) There were no melt downs or "what about me?" tantrums. Ivy was displaying such joy to give to someone else.
She was proud to come home and pack the box up and is ready for it to be sent on it's merry way!!
If you are looking for a way to celebrate "giving day" with your child this is a great program!! It is not too late.... go online and find out where this is going on near you :)