So, I have been wanting to really clean out and get rid of most of my kids' toys. I need to do this for a few reasons.
1. My kids don't play with toys a whole lot. They do more dress up and role play than anything else. So many great toys go unplayed with most of the time.
2. We live in a small house. It's big enough for us, but not for excessive amounts of stuff. I have been trying all year to really pare down what we all have.
3. And finally I know the kids will get so many new toys for Christmas, we have to make room for the new.
So, this year I enlisted my 5-year-old's help. This past Saturday while my son was with my parents for the weekend Julia and I started digging in to the mountain of playthings. I was so impressed with her ability to understand that while certain toys may be really cool, if we don't play with them they are just taking up valuable space. Of course she found it much easier to wade through and toss her brother's things, she was remarkably unselfish with her own.
We had 2 different containers, trash & give away. We trashed anything broken and made plans to donate all the rest. I had spent the past few weeks prepping Julia by talking to her about the true meaning of Christmas and that we should give more than we receive. Knowing that her toys would be going to a little boy or girl who went without really drove her.
The pinnacle of the morning came over a little pillow/carrier and blanket set that she has had for a year or so. I told her that we had plenty of blankets and pillows and she didn't really use this one much. It was the first item she was torn over, mainly she didn't want to part with the blanket. Since, she had been doing so well with her giving I relented on this one and told her she could keep the blanket and we would donate the pillow. I left it at that and left the room to do more cleaning. About 10 minutes later she came in her room with the pillow. I asked if she changed her mind and wanted to keep it too. She said she was looking for the blanket. I told her again that she could keep the set. She neatly tucked the blanket in the pillow and hugged it close to her chest and replied, "No Mommy, I want to give it to a little girl who maybe doesn't have a pillow and blanket of her own."
My heart just melted at that moment. She got it. She got what God and Christmas are all about. Giving. Giving freely. Giving unselfishly. Putting others needs above our own. I don't know about anyone else, but my Christmas has been made merry before the holiday has even begun by my little angel.