That’s the best word I can think of to describe the atmosphere that buzzed through our household the other day. Excitement about a shopping trip. Yes, a shopping trip.
The thing was, it wasn’t a shopping trip for ourselves. We were going to shop for someone else. My kids looked at it as a task, a challenge, an adventure…
Maybe I’m overdoing it a bit.
You have to understand something. My kids love getting stuff. What kid doesn’t? What adult doesn’t?
Of course, we all idealistically say it’s not about the gift. It’s better to give than to receive. That’s all true, but when someone give us a gift – that they thought about us and brought us something they either made or put thought into buying – yeah…I thought so. You love it.
It’s not that my kids get a lot of stuff or even have an abundance of stuff, but gifts are remembered and praised for long after the giving has finished.
My son’s birthday is months away. Christmas is even farther. Yet, he has told us consistently, every day, what he wants for both events. Multiple times a day.
He doesn’t do it out of greed, or because he doesn’t think he has enough toys already. It’s the love of the gift. It’s the excitement of the new, and it dances in his dreams and thoughts in a constant repeating vivid video. My daughter isn’t quite as expressive about it, but I know the love of the gift is just as strong in her as it is in him.
I have a strong feeling they’re not the only kids with this deep affection.
More than getting gifts, or at least a close second I hope, they love giving gifts. They get as excited about the possibility of giving gifts as they do getting them.
Which brings us back to the exciting shopping trip I mentioned above.
My wife was contacted by another Compassion advocate. The lady was making a trip to a Compassion project where one of our sponsored kids were located. It was a chance where we could get something for our child beyond the letters and paper products we can send in the letters.
It was a chance to not only buy things for our child, but for the entire project. My wife and kids took to the task with a gusto and love that is deep and infectious.
We were limited in what we could send; this poor lady would have to lug it all with the rest of her luggage and items that she was bringing. However, this was no obstacle to my family. They soon had a bag full of school supplies for the project and a new soccer ball for our sponsored child.
No, the soccer ball in the image isn’t the ball we sent. Pretty close though!
Why do we get excited over giving little things to a child so far away? Does it make us feel like heroes? Do we feel like the “privileged” giving to “those poor souls who do without the blessings we have”?
No. It’s the love of the gift. It’s more than just giving a “thing” to “someone”. It’s another way to connect. It’s a way to go beyond the mundane, easy connections and give something that this beautiful child, this precious soul who has impacted our lives, would love.
It may seem small. It may seem petty. But it is a connection strengthened, and some new forged, that my family will cherish.
And one that I know the children at this Compassion project will cherish.
How do you connect? How do you pour into your children? I’d love to hear about it. We can even discuss it on Facebook.