Last night I had a conversation with my sister which made me sad. My sister is a year one teacher (5 and 6 year olds). She was saying that in her class there are at least two children that she knows can’t celebrate Christmas this year. Not because of any beliefs etc, but because they just can’t afford to.
One of the children asked in her letter to Santa for a Christmas tree with sparkles on it, as they can’t afford any decorations this year.
Another mum went and bought her child a dress for the carol concert – when my sister spoke to her about it she explained that the dress came out of her Christmas fund for presents, and that it was going to be re-wrapped up as the child’s main gift. That child had asked for a fairy dress so she would get what she asked for, and will love that gift.
It just made me feel like I could and should be doing more to help others that need it. I haven’t done anything this year to help those that need a bit of support – it’s easy to think that others are helping, or that because I don’t have a huge amount of money myself that i don’t have much to give. But really – we are so so lucky, and what my sister was saying really made it real to me – poverty isn’t something far away, it’s something close by, always just a step behind us.
And if i was in poverty, I would want to know that at the very least, my children could get a gift on Christmas Day. And that the magic of Christmas would still be there for them even if on a smaller scale than now. And so – this year I think it’s a bit late but next year I am going to make sure that I give back to others. I will find a local charity which makes sure children have a toy at christmas, and i will donate old toys that my children no longer need. And I already donate occasionally to food banks, but I will do this more regularly as they need all the support they can get.
I’m so very lucky – my main worry is is my daughter is disappointed on Xmas day as she doesn’t have the main two things she’s asked for (a chocolate coin maker, and a Tiana barbie.) She has loads of other gifts, and love, and plenty to eat and will be warm and safe. Really, if she is disappointed then I need to learn from that – she is lucky and spoiling her by giving her everything isn’t always the answer. She is loved and she has plenty, what more could she need?
I will try to help others more from now on, because all it takes is one illness, one job loss, one bad thing to happen and we could be in poverty too. And if we were, I would hope that someone else could be my safety net, to help me and my children to survive, and to help my children not to lose faith and trust in others.