This year I the fun privilege of buying Christmas gifts for the two children on my Child Advocates case, children who have been in the foster care system for years! Children who told me they got nothing for their last birthdays, before I was assigned their case. Children who only got clothes last Christmas at a different foster home.
Well, NOT THIS YEAR!
It was my mission to get these kids EXACTLY what they wanted for Christmas, down to the color. Who knew that the Nintendo 3DS was so popular in BLUE?! I could have easily gotten one in red or black at Amazon or most other stores and had it shipped to me like I like, but my girl wanted blue, so I stood in line at Walmart (my least favorite store, but the only one with the BLUE 3DS) for an hour to score the gift!
The children who live in my home and call me "Mom," do not get this level of service. No way would I stress to get them the exact color of an electronic device, but these kids who have been through so much? Who sometimes feel like nobody cares about them? You betcha!
Today I carefully wrapped each gift, made sure the brother and sister had an even number of gifts, because, well, I KNOW that is important. I even took the time for bows:
Then I delivered them to the kids at their foster home. Oh the joy!! Seriously, all gift giving ought to be like this! Please can I never again have to buy for a person who has everything and instead just buy for people who are so over the top excited about their presents?
The kids didn't open their gifts today (the foster mother and I agreed they should save them for Christmas), but they gushed over the wrapped presents for a good half hour none the less, shaking and holding each one trying to guess what was inside!
Many Christmases I've bought gifts for strangers in need. Angel tree, adopt-a-family, etc. and those are great things, but what was so awesome this year is that I KNOW these kids. I've spent time with them before Christmas and I know so many details about their history and so I was able to buy them the gifts I know they are going to love and unlike so many other giving-to-the-needy opportunities, I'll still be there for these kids next month. It's not just about giving at Christmastime, it's about relationship. As I left we laughed as we said, "I'll see you 2015!" But, I will.