I saw this great idea for a Reverse Advent routine, where instead of opening a little gift in anticipation of Christmas, you donate a food item from your pantry every day. You gather them into a box and then donate to a food pantry to help feed the hungry. With my love of an unseasonably early Christmas, we have had Advent calendars since October (if not September), Disney Tsum Tsums for Ana and Star Wars Lego for Yoseph. But this seemed like a great idea to keep the kids (and me and Tim) sensitive to the fact that we have so much and should be giving back. So I made a stop at Aldi this week and stocked up on canned veggies, macaroni and cheese, and other staples. I wrapped an Amazon box in Disney Christmas paper and was feeling generous and, truth be told, a little smug.
When I introduced this idea to the kids on Friday, December 2, they warmed to it immediately. Just as they got to open two days of Advent surprises for 12/1 and 12/2, Yoseph suggested we donate both a healthy item and a delicious snack for the two days of Advent to our food for the hungry box. My heart was bursting with pride.
He dug around in the pantry, ignoring my instructions to get a can of corn or box from one of the lower shelves where I had stashed my recent canned good purchases. He emerged with a box. “What about these strawberry fruit strips?”
Ummmm. Those strawberry fruit strips are MY favorite healthy snack. I stalled for a moment and then realized that this was exactly the lesson I was trying to teach them–except that Yoseph was teaching it to me. As we work on when the kids sort through their toys a few times a year for donation drives, we wanted the kids to understand giving up something of value and contributing something of value, not just cast-offs. Gosh, it’s convicting when a 7 year old shows you the way…