At Costco last weekend there were two and a half aisles of Christmas stuff. I guess it’s just an unwritten rule that stores wait till Halloween is over before displaying it. And because it was a hot October day, not even Canadian Thanksgiving yet, I felt like I was in my still decorated living room on January first; nauseous at the sight of it.
The kids were with me and Deaglan asked for every single toy we passed. At first I tried silence but that didn’t fly. After saying no a few times, I finally told him he’d have to ask Santa for them.
I’ve written before that this time of year always leaves me churning a little; I’m not sure how to embrace it because the commercial idea of Christmas makes me sick. With small kids though, it’s hard not to get sucked in.
But because I feel a responsibility to raise my kids’ awareness that we live a very cozy life, we don’t know the meaning of need, hunger or suffering, I’ve been chipping away at teaching Deaglan about the people who do. We bought a globe at the beginning of the summer at a garage sale. Many an afternoon we’ve laid together on his bed naming different countries.
I’ve told him about Bangladesh where I’m from, about the kids there, how they don’t have much to eat, that their parents can’t afford to buy toys. I’ve found myself breathing sighs of relief when his concerned little face came up with ways to help those kids.
Every so often I show him the picture of Sabina, our sponsored child, remind him that her life is very different from ours. I tell him that we are sharing some of our money so that we can help her and her family have a better life. And always during these brief talks, he thinks of ways we can share other things with her, mostly his toys.
And even though I know he doesn’t quite get it, I see that just bringing it up does us all good - gets us thinking about something outside of ourselves.
Last week I decided to accept the Visa my bank was offering and close my extra MasterCard. The exchange meant I’d have to contact World Vision to change my account information – put our monthly donation to Sabina’s family on the Visa now. It got me thinking about how we never ever notice that money being gone.
What’s $35 to us?
I called Shaune at work and asked him how he’d feel about adding another child to our account. I’m happy to say we are now helping three year old Keerthana and her family in Sri Lanka.
And just like that, I’m not dreading this Christmas season - as much.