The art of giving does not come easily to everyone. For me, it had to be learned.
As a child, what was mine was mine and anyone who touched it better beware the wrath of a four-year-old. As I grew older and older, my humble parents, who didn’t have a whole lot to begin with, tried desperately to break me and my siblings of our selfishness. They urged us to share our toys, they taught us to share our meals by inviting young church missionaries over for dinner, and one Christmas they taught us the greatest giving lesson of all.
With mom a stay-at-home mom and dad a blue-collar worker, our Christmas had a pretty rigid budget. I don’t know how they did it—mom stayed up late studying all the sales and clipping coupons and dad put in extra work hours—but each Christmas morning we’d wake up to a small pile each of shiny new presents that made us squeal with delight.
One particular holiday season, my dad gathered the family around the kitchen table and told us about a family who would not be having much of a Christmas that year.
How Would You Feel about Making Them Really Happy?
“How would you feel about making them really happy?” my dad asked us.
“YES!” we all cheered. But when he told us that giving them a Christmas would make ours a little smaller, the yeses turned to no’s in a hurry. That’s when dad took us on a drive. We piled in the car and drove to a small wooden house that looked more like a shed than a home. The windows glowed with soft light and through them we could see the silhouette of a small Christmas tree and shadows of children bouncing around it.
Dad explained that he knew this family and that the father just lost his job. Christmas would be hard for them this year. When faced with the thought of a Christmas morning with no presents, we all quickly agreed that we could help! We went to the store and bought gifts, treats, and a Christmas ham. Afterward, we went home and wrapped each gift as carefully as children could and piled back in the car. We tiptoed up to the house and left our offering on the front porch.
The Lessons We Teach
Now that I’m a mother of four children myself, I know firsthand the sacrifices that parents make every day, and especially during the holidays. I’ve seen my husband stay up until three o’clock in the morning pumping up a gigantic mega ball that would surprise the kids on Christmas morning. I’ve driven all over town and visited every store in search of the last talking Elsa doll that was at the top of a little girl’s list.
Parents, you’ve been covered in flour from baking holiday cinnamon rolls, you’ve scoured shopping ads and thought of creative ways to make the holidays magic on a tight budget. You’ve given up gifts for yourself so that your kids could have more.
Parents, You Are #doingood
Don’t think that the things you do go unnoticed. At Minute Maid, they know exactly how parents sacrifice to make the holidays special for their families. What you do is amazing! The folks at Minute Maid know that when you put good in, you get good out and that goes for every ounce of energy you put into your families. You put good in, you get good out.
You have little eyes watching you every day, and even if they don’t say it, your children love you, appreciate you, and need the lessons that only you can teach them. This holiday season, be a little easier on yourself. Remember that you’re #doingood and that the holidays don’t have to be so perfect. In fact, it’s those perfect imperfections that actually make the holidays so sweet.
Have You Made Your #doingoodcontest Holiday Pinterest Board Yet?
We’re looking for your sweet Pinning skills! The Minute Maid #doingood holiday campaign is all about simple family moments that make the holidays special. It is about all of the details—big and small—that you as parents pour into the holidays.