THE GIFT OF GIVING Last year was Eva’s first Christmas, though at 5 months old, she couldn’t understand much. Now that she’s walking and talking, I’m so excited to share the magic of the holiday with her. In years past, Jep and I would travel to be with family. This year, we’re staying home to give Eva that experience of waking up on LessonsPassedFromMother toDaughter Christmas morning. Of course, I can’t wait to see her face light up when she looks underneath the tree! But as much fun as it will be to watch her find out about Santa Claus, what I really look forward to is my daughter discovering the joy of giving. When I was a little girl, my mom would take me out to buy presents for children in need. We’d sign up through a local charity to adopt a struggling family for the holidays. Starting in the third grade, I helped pick out gifts and clothes, and gave my mom an idea of what someone my age would want. At first, it was just fun for me: running down aisles and picking out toys. As time went on, I
came to understand the significance of what we were doing. There were kids my age who didn’t have as much as I did, who didn’t always get presents on Christmas or have anything nice to wear. My mom had shown me a path to making those children’s lives a little brighter. Amazingly, Jep’s mother gave him the same experience growing up. Every year, they would hand-deliver gifts and meals to needy families across town. In the nine years we’ve been together, Jep and I have continued the tradition
“But as much fun as it will be to watch her find out about Santa Claus, what I really look forward to is my daughter discovering the joy of giving.”
of giving that our mothers passed down. We sign up for the Builders Association’s toy drive, run in association with the Department of Children and Family Services here in Lake Oconee. Shopping for those kids gets me so excited. It’s my favorite part of the holidays. I’ve been known to go a little overboard. I wish I could buy presents for all the kids myself, but we usually end up settling on four or five. We always spend way over the recommended amount on clothes. Last year, I bought a little girl the cutest pair of hot pink boots. I wish I could
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