The other day Peeper and I shared a rare morning just the two of us: Eric and Kiwi were napping, so we headed downstairs to play out of earshot. It turned out to be the perfect time to get into the true spirit of Christmas.
After some jumping on the couch, reading books to dolls and building towers (then knocking them down, of course), I suggested we wrap some presents.
“These are for a little boy who doesn’t have any presents,” I explained to her. We are sponsoring a child whose parent is incarcerated, and I had bought him action figures, shoes and pants—his wish list items—earlier in the week. “Some children don’t have as many toys as you,” I added.
Christmas lessons in toddler-sized packages
Peeper chattered and jumped back and forth over the wrapping paper tubes as I cut, folded and taped. I unpeeled the backing from shiny bows, and she stuck them on the boxes.
I wanted to involve Peeper in our family giving this year. We have so much while others have so little, and I don’t want her growing up expecting that abundance is the norm. Providing for others so their holiday is a little brighter is a family tradition, and Peeper is old enough to learn some of these lessons.
I wondered if they had stuck.
“Why are we giving presents to this little boy?” I asked.
“Because it’s Christmas!” she exclaimed.
I laughed. She was absolutely right. She understood the spirit of Christmas, even if she couldn’t articulate it in an after school special kind of way.
At the heart of it, that spirit of giving is at the heart of sending brightly wrapped gifts to this child—and to anyone. Peeper might have missed the finer points of our privilege, but she has embraced the true meaning of the holiday.