I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I went to check on my LinkedIn messages and found that I had won second prize in this contest. I wanted to share it with you all this morning. I know Christmas is over but what is one last memory. Thank you all especially Ronnie Dauber who is the founder of this amazing group.
Second Place Winning Story – Why Christmas is Special to Me – by Chris Hannon / contest run by Ronnie Dauber, author
When my children were growing up we did not have much, but no mater how little we had we taught our children to share. So one Christmas when our oldest was only five, we had an idea, one that evolved into a tradition. I will explain, first of all we never hid the gifts from our kids. As soon as we bought them, they were wrapped and then put under the tree. We would pack them tightly so far under the tree that it was almost impossible for anyone to see how many there really were. Snooping was a no-no and would be a sure fired way of making all those Christmas gifts disappear. An artificial tree made it simple to hide the presents, as I could pull the branches lower to the ground to cover them. What we didn’t do was put names on the ones from Santa until Christmas Eve while the children were asleep. I marked each with a symbol for identification purposes. It was not unheard of that I would get them confused. One year the kids got several of the wrong gifts. It was funny but the kids reminded me every year after.
Two days before Christmas, we would sit with our children in front of the tree and pointed out which gifts were for them. We asked them to please choose one of their already wrapped gifts to give to another child. This would be given anonymously and be for someone who had less than they did. Without hesitation, they unselfishly chose and proudly delivered their choices to one of the many places desperately needing gifts. Not once in all the years that we carried on this tradition, did our kids question what was in those presents they gave away.
Our children are now grown and married and have their own children. While visiting yesterday my seven-year-old grandson ran up to me all excited. Chattering he said,” Papa, Grammies I just spent my Tooth Fairy money and my allowance on two presents for other kids who need presents too. Grammies, some kids don’t have mommies and daddies like me. I need to help right Grammies, right Papa?”
I gave him the biggest hug I could without squishing him. “Right, Ronnie.” I was so very proud of this sweet little boy.
He then looked at me and said,” Grammies this is my tramdition.”
Smiling I dare not correct him and tell him the word was tradition. I just said. “Do you know that Daddy, Uncle Terry and Aunty Chris used to have a tradition to give gifts too?”
“I know Grammies that is how daddy taught me to be for sharing.”
I looked at my son who was beaming with pride. He said, “Mom, this is the third year that Ronnie has used his own money. It is usually his birthday money and allowance. We stopped paying when he started being paid to help do chores. Not only does he pay he picks the presents out himself. The first year we had to put in a bit but now he can read the prices.” Giving his son a hug he continued, “We still have to watch for sales but he is good at that too.”
“Ronnie, are you going to teach your kids to carry on this tradition like daddy taught you?” Papa asked.
“Oh Papa, you are so silly I don’t have any kids I am only a little boy!” With that, he marched off shaking his head leaving us grown ups laughing and feeling ever so proud. This is why Christmas is so special to me.