Childhood Christmas Memories of Helping The Less Fortunate
(Minneapolis, MN, USA)
One of my favorite holiday memories was shopping for kids on our church’s mitten tree. We would go a month before Christmas and each pick out mitten for a child we wanted to shop for. We tried to pick kids our own age.
The next day, we would get dressed up, and go to Toys R’ Us with our mittens. We each picked our toy with care, and would even pick wrapping paper for it. We picked it really carefully, because my parents always emphasized how important this was. They used to tell us that, in a way, we were playing Santa to our boys or girls.
While we shopped, we of course had our eyes peeled for toys that we might want to add to our Santa list. But shopping for a poor child allowed us to keep perspective, and our lists were probably shorter, and more realistic.
We took the toy back to our church, wrapped the gift and placed it lovingly under the mitten tree. Then, we would go to a local soup kitchen and would volunteer in the kitchen, helping out or playing with the kids.
It was a good reminder of what the holiday was all about. For me, it always made me so much more grateful and appreciative of what the holiday spirit was all about.
After all, it’s all about giving. Today, I am a mom, and I still carry on this tradition with my own kids.