My two daughters, Sara and Kelly were raised on a farm in Minnesota. When my girls were about 6 and 8 years old, the farming economy was very depressed and our Christmas shopping for that year looked bleak. Money was very tight so there would be few gifts under the tree. As I listened to the girls create their lists from the many TV commercials advertising the latest trends, my heart sank. As a parent, I wanted to provide them the toys they wanted and see the joy on their faces as each package was unwrapped. My girls had the same dreams as other children that Santa and his reindeer would deliver their toys on Christmas Eve.
Each Christmas season, I thought about the generous person who provided my girls gifts during a very hard time in my life. They gave with the true spirit of Christmas, to give without expecting a return gift. I wanted my girls to know that same kind of spirit. I wanted them to feel the satisfaction of giving without getting anything in return. With this in mind, we started a new Christmas tradition to buy baby clothes for new teen moms or parents that could not afford clothes for their children. We delivered the clothes to the county health nurses so they could give them to the children who needed them. It was a fun shopping experience choosing newborn sleepers, matching outfits, hats and blankets. Each year we gave without strings attached. We did not want any recognition of our gifts. The girls and I looked forward to this shared shopping trip each Christmas.
We took a break from this tradition for a few years as the three of us were in transition. Each of us was living and working in different areas of the states and even the world. However, this year my youngest daughter, Kelly, asked me if I wanted to go shopping with her. She knows I am always game to go shopping so I said sure. When I asked if she was looking for something special she indicated that it was time to restart the gift-giving tradition that we had begun years before. We bought numerous outfits and sleepers for infants and small children. It was a special time for us. The gifts were taken to a young women’s home to be given to moms as they needed for their children. We were completely anonymous in our giving. Kelly and I were happy to share the Christmas gift-giving spirit with these young moms just as someone done for us so many years ago. The tradition continues…