Do you ever feel as though your children don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza? Do your children write letters to Santa Claus that are laundry lists of expensive presents they want? Read the following story and consider helping your children learn the true meaning of the holidays.
Since 1997, Lori Fletcher, working in New York, hasn’t sent Christmas cards to her business clients.
Instead, she’s sending them notes saying what gifts she has purchased for poor children in the area.
Stories like this flood in from the Operation Santa Claus office (http://www.operationlettertosanta.com/Pages/story_1.htm) every Christmas where poor kids write in requesting just one simple gift. Some people take home over thirty letters from children and still feel that it isn’t enough.
Operation Santa Claus receives over 150,000 letters to Santa from children in need, most of them in the New York area. Post Office workers volunteers to sort the letters and track the gifts – this is an amazing story of generosity from people at every level in the city.
One kid included a picture of a Rolex watch he had cut out of a magazine advertisement, and advised, “I have been good almost every day.” One girl asked for “pencils for school,” and said it was important because she wanted to be a secretary when she grows up.
One boy wrote to Santa, “I love you and I will always believe in you.”
How can my family learn the true meaning of the holidays?
Of course your children will still write their letters to Santa Claus. But, think of the lessons in humility, love, and generosity your children would learn if every parent insists that each Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza the children in the family use money they earned doing chores or saved from their allowances to purchase gifts for needy children.
Even if the “gift” costs only fifty cents or is made by hand, the importance of helping others less fortunate will be learned and appreciated. You don’t know any needy families? Ask the school principal, your pastor or priest, or call a Mission in a low socioeconomic area and you will find plenty of them. To make the lesson more powerful, the givers should remain anonymous.
Learn the true meaning of the festive season this year!