For the past several years our family has adopted a family for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas each year. We usually go together with one of the other resident's family and adopt a large family.
Purchasing the food for the holiday for this family is one of my favorite parts of the holiday. It feels so very good to be able to give something back. Bret and I have worked so hard for what we have and feel so very blessed.
This past weekend I took Emily with me to do the groceries for the week which including buying the food for our feast and for our adopted family's. Emily being ever so observant wanted to know why we were buying pies, rolls, etc when we usually make them ourselves. Unfortunately the Catholic Charities have pretty specific requests for what we donate food wise and it all has to be store bought and mostly processed foods (nothing that needs to be refrigerated other than the turkey).
I explained to Emily about the family we adopt and buy food for. I told her that we buy the food for a family who can't afford it themselves. Oh boy, the look she gave me. She asked a million questions that basically told me that she had no idea that some people couldn't afford to buy food for a holiday for themselves. We talked about how some kids didn't have a lot of presents and were sometimes hungry.
Emily has such a tender heart. I realized how big of an impact all of this had on her when I heard her talking to her dad about it. Sometimes the best way to understand their take on things is hearing them tell someone else about it. I think the problem with our talks in the past was that the reality was to far for her to grasp. We have had both of our kids "buy" toys to donate in the past but I think they always thought of it as another person we were giving a gift to no different than our family and friends. The reality that it was something they could not have otherwise never dawned on them.
On one hand I am so very thankful that worries about money has never touched my children. No matter how many times Bret and I have struggled or worried in the past our children have always been provided for. On the other hand I want my kids to understand how blessed we are and feel the value in giving back.