I have an 11 year old niece. Each year at Christmas I ask her Mum what is on her wish list. She isn’t short of anything, so for the past few years I’ve been buying her Smiggle vouchers or bath bombs from Lush - both of which she loves.
However this year, she doesn’t want anything for Christmas. She wants to know how it feels not to receive any gifts. I found this attitude in an 11 year old quite confronting. However also eye opening. She wants to put herself in the shoes of those a lot less fortunate than herself, so she can feel some sort of empathy for them.
So instead of buying her a gift, I have purchased from the ALWS’ Gifts Of Grace which is a donation towards people in countries of need. She’s right – Christmas shouldn’t be about accumulating more stuff that we don’t need – but about spending time with family and friends, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
Thank you for the lesson, Annie*. Now I'm off to go buy a present for the Kmart Wishing Tree with my 4 year old...
*Name changed to protect privacy.