last year, for arty's first christmas, we started a family tradition. arty chose a present to give to a needy child the same age as him, and placed it under the wishing tree. he was only 11 months old, and didn't understand what he was doing, but it was the start of something.
even though he's still quite young to understand, i tried to explain the idea to him this year. i said that we were going to pick a present for a kid whose grown ups couldn't buy toys for them. a toy for kid who really needed one.
he thought about this, and then i let him roam around the toy section for a while til he found something he really liked (a helicopter). when he showed it to me, i said "shall we give this to the other kid? the one who needs a present?" he said yes, and then immediately went in search of other children in the shop and started trying to give it to them.
after confusing several other children by trying to force them to take his helicopter, i led him over to the wishing tree, and explained that this was where we left the presents for the other kids, and that's exactly what he did.
i was so proud of how willing he was to give away something that he so obviously would have loved to play with himself.
arty's growing up with a great deal of privilege, so i want to take as many opportunities as possible to foster generosity, gratitude and kindness in him. i think this family tradition is a step in the right direction.