This afternoon I did our bi-weekly grocery shopping. The usual... Aldi, then Target for what I couldn't find at Aldi (or prefer to buy elsewhere... more on that later). Last night I got a hand-out from Cash's teacher at church saying they're collecting items for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection. Since I don't plan to grocery shop again before the items were due, I decided to pick them up today.
As I was browsing Target's Dollar Spot I started tossing items into my cart: a slinky, silly putty, little books about colors, candy. The shopping trip started out with, "That'll work." and quickly turned into this exciting opportunity to make some little boy and little girl in a country far away from mine, whose life seems worlds different than my kids' Christmas seem magical. A slinky, silly putty and a toothbrush would seem magical to those kids. Would it to my own kids? Right now, yes. But I fear that's just because they're 2 1/2 and 15 months. As I gushed over the Disney Princess lip balm bracelet and polka dotted jump rope, envisioning a little dark-skinned girl wearing the sparkly headbands, I made a promise to teach my kid's the value of a gift. That it represents the love behind it, not the price tag; that there is joy in giving and in turn, receiving the blessing that comes. I don't ever want to them to join the rest of our society that somehow feels entitled to the most expensive, best thing on the market. I want them to be thankful for what they have and a desire to give to those who don't have.
And so today I'm thankful for projects like Operation Christmas Child for teaching me to be grateful.
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