Saturday, November 13, 2010

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Monster adoptions

The Monster House has a tradition every year of  anonymously"adopting" a family for the holidays. We begin by contacting local church leaders ( this year I contacted my Relief Society president) to see who might benefit from being adopted. Then we have a family meeting, discuss the people I was told about, and we choose together whom we would like to "adopt". I am so excited this year because it is a young family, the husband has been out of work for a time, and the wife has just given birth to their second child. 

The monsters love the process from start to finish. After we choose who we will adopt, I go to the store and purchase all the ingredients for a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings ( and a few other fun little things, too!), then we box them up and ding dong ditch them the week before Thanksgiving. We are certified rubber neckers, and we love to park a few houses away and watch the reaction of the recipients. Then we go home and talk about it for days, with little winks and whispers, because the families are never supposed to figure out who did it. 

Following Thanksgiving, we keep a low profile until December. Then, beginning December 14, we do the Twelve Days of Christmas. Each evening, through Christmas Night, we ding dong ditch a little something on their door step. The excitement builds and builds and builds. The monsters begin to have little fights about who gets to "ring and run", and they snip at each other just a tad when it's time to choose someone to wrap up that day's goodies.

But, truthfully, it's bigger than all that. By doing this, we teach the monsters to be generous, selfless, compassionate, and kind. There have not always been years that we could do this. There have been times that we have been the recipient, and we remember with great tenderness the kindness and generosity of others as we prepare our little offerings. 

For us, our holiday spirit comes when we are helping others.  We are modest in our Christmas spending ( we allocate $50/child), and put the emphasis on family time, serving others, and enjoying the ambiance of the season through music, good movies, and going to programs and concerts.

My monsters are convinced that this is some brilliant plan I thought up all by myself, so I would love to show them evidence in print that it is not. I invite you to share your Holiday traditions with us, whether in this country or not, so I can further educate my children about the kindness of people around the world. Can you help me with that?


Kathy said...

I facilitate my son's participation with his school's holiday food drive. When we do the grocery shopping I encourage him to pick foods that HE likes (Cheerios, Goldfish) so that the giving is more personal.

We also go through his toy chest and select a few gently used items (the ones he never took to) and donate them as well.

It's so important to empower our children with the spirit of giving!

Caryn said...

That is such an excellent way to involve children and adds a personal touch the child(ren) can remember!

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