Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Traditions - Giving to Others

Every family has there own traditions and customs around the holidays. Some families give one big toy for Chanukah, others give sizable gifts each night, others give small items nightly, and some have different customs all together. 

Growing up, my family's tradition was a big gift one night from mom and dad, then smaller gifts on other nights from them or a grandparent, a sibling exchange night, and then one night no gifts. Why no gifts? That was our way of thinking about children who weren't able to receive gifts. 

Now we didn't just not get gifts one night and think about these less fortunate children. Before the holidays began we would empty our tzedakah (charity) boxes, go to Coin Star and exchange the coins, and go to the toy store and pick out toys to donate to a toy drive. 

I have fond memories of this outing. I remember looking at the toys and wondering if another child would enjoy playing with it. It was an amazing learning opportunity, from a young age I learned to think about others, to give back, and to appreciate what I did have. 

Now even as an adult, I uphold this tradition. Last weekend, I took my tzedakah box to the bank, counted the coins, and headed off to the store.  
Now instead of asking myself what I would like to play with if the toys were for me, I thought about Noam and Ronan. I shopped for a few age ranges and loved picking out two adorable books too.
Maimo holds a toy drive, so it was the perfect place to donate them. Monday morning as the children settled into the room, many of them produced a toy from their bags asking if they could take it to the donation bin. I was so happy to see them also giving back, so happy to see that they were helping other children have a joyous holiday season.

Thank you mom for teaching Avi and me to give back, you started this tradition so many years ago and I am so happy that I learned how to be charitable at a young age.

And! Come link up and join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

13 thoughts on the matter:

Nicki said... {Reply}

Charity is a valuable lesson that as parents we have an obligation to teach our children - especially in this day and age of so much 'entitlement'. We had the same philosophy with our kids, clearing out their gently used toys and clothes before or near Thanksgiving to give to the less fortunate, in turn making room for the new. That tradition continues to this day.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

Wonderful! We do that every year through church and school. It's a great tradition to continue!!

Sarah Carletti said... {Reply}

This is a wonderful tradition! There is so much joy in giving!

Linda Kay said... {Reply}

Getting items together to donate to less fortunate is very uplifting. We have a couple of charities we donate gifts to at Christmas as well.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

I love that idea. Zachary emptied our tzedakah box for his mitzvah trip at school! but we have been talking about donating our older toys that they don't use anymore!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said... {Reply}

Good you. Good mom!

Anita Johnson said... {Reply}

Wonderful...Do for one what you wish you could do for 1,000!

Pieni Lintu said... {Reply}

Lovely!!

miss-red-fox said... {Reply}

This is a good tradition!

We make a parcel full with gifts for a child in need, all similar packages are being collected and sent to Eastern Europe to schools or orphanages, so those kids have a happy Christmas, too. It's a good thing to teach one's children to learn how to share.

And my daughter had EXACTLY this magnetic doll game, I bought it for her last time I've been to NYC. :-)

barbara said... {Reply}

That's a good tradition to share! Even with us! I asked my daughter to choose a toy to donate to a local charity.. She was so happy to help other children that she pick up three of them!!

Life with Kaishon said... {Reply}

You are my favorite kind of person. God bless you.

Linda W. said... {Reply}

Giving to others is such a wonderful holiday tradition. I'm sure you've made those children very happy. Nice photos to document your shopping trip.

Linda said... {Reply}

Charity is a wonderful tradition any time, even without holidays. Great post and photos.