Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Giving (And the Sweetest 4 Year Old)

This year we have been trying to instill in Finn that the true meaning behind Christmas is not just getting presents, but giving presents, sharing what you have, and spending time with family and friends. Since he is only 4, we decided that showing him this, through actions, would speak much louder than words.
So last week, the family headed out for a trip to buy some canned goods and some toys to share with those less fortunate. We brought the toys to our local fire station where they were having a toy drive. And, lucky for Finn, he was able to get a tour of the station when he dropped off the toys! We brought the food to a local emergency center that helps those in need. When we get there, there was a huge line waiting for handouts of food. It was awesome for Finn to get to see us bringing something for others and seeing the actual people who were going to receive it.
We also talked about Heifer International and how they help families in need by providing them with animals (this was spurred by a catalog full of pictures of animals that we got in the mail. What 4 year old could resist that?)... Finn decided that he and I would pool some money and buy a family a share of a goat. We each took $5 from our savings (Finn's from a money jar that has about $12 total and my "savings" was actually my credit card). It was so sweet to see him get excited about this and I hope to make it a yearly tradition.
To top it off, the next day my sweet sweet boy told all of his friends at school that Christmas is not really about getting presents but about giving things to others (his teacher told me this when I picked him up). Is that not the cutest, sweetest thing you have ever heard? I mean, no doubt that when he wakes up Christmas morning and finds that Santa has been to our house, he will be ecstatic. Honestly, I am so excited to see him find his presents that I feel like a kid again! But to know that my little boy is so willing to share makes me happy beyond belief. At least I know I have done something right in terms of parenting.. (maybe that negates my threats about Santa not coming if he doesn't start listening... ?).
I have good memories of always participating in toy, food and coat drives when I was growing up and I am glad I am finally getting a chance to pass those memories along. 

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  1. This is so sweet! Great job teaching him what matters, Mama! And I LOVE Heifer International. My birthday is Thursday and Josh and my mom are still nagging me to come up with gift ideas (I hate clutter so I'm reluctant to ask for any more crap I don't need). This is perfect! I did it a few years ago and loved it. Thanks. :)

  2. Good for you! I also think that if Finn sees you and your hubby doing for others, it will become part of his life as well!

  3. aw, so adorable and sweet that he shared with the class!