We decided to take part in the first ever Salvation Army Toy Mountain at Brentwood Town Centre. The way it works is that you can bring a toy from home or buy one at the mall and put it under the giant tree. In return, you get a cookie and a $5 gift card to use at the mall. This is an awesome to teach your kids about giving. It was fun to watch Rianne place her toy with all the other toys. Her eyes lit up and her face was filled with joy as she walked away with a little cookie in her hand. Rianne then started dancing away to the Salvation Army Christmas Choir that was entertaining people while they were shopping.
In a day and age of hyper-commercialism, it’s inspiring to take part in initiatives like this where our daughter can understand that it’s better to give than to receive. As a parent, of course, I am filled with joy whenever I give my daughter a new present. I am intuitively aware not to give her too many material things and teach her the importance of the give and take reciprocity that exits in nature and in society. It’s moments like this where I see her take part in a much deeper act of giving than a tiny little 18 month old brain will comprehend.
We intend to make this an annual tradition. I can’t wait until Rianne and Ryan ask mommy and daddy, “What can we give for Christmas?” instead of “What can we get for Christmas?” The change of only this one word will help our kids understand the spirit of the season: to be difference makers, world transformers, agents of change, vessels of peace, and more. Thank you, Salvation Army, for teaching us the important virtue of giving.