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Tuesday, December 21, 2010  

Santa's Medium Elf

I like to think that we've succeeded in teaching M. Edium that the more generous he is to other people, the more generous Santa will be to him. Before we did that, we should have stopped to think that we kind of have to pay for it on both ends.

For instance, once again this year we did one of those "Adopt a Family" things for Christmas. You know, where you're matched with a less fortunate family, and you do what you can (mostly anonymously) to make their holidays a little more bearable. The first one Trash tried to sign us up for was all out of available families (which is mostly good, I guess), so she found another program. When she and M. Edium went to Target with the wish list of the 7-year-old boy and single dad we were helping, she asked him, "So what should we get for him off the list?"

"Everything!" M. Edium insisted.

The good news was that it was a modest enough list that everything fit in the car. Though just barely. M. Edium was almost as excited as if the stuff was for him.

Before that, even before Thanksgiving, Trash sat him down next to her and her laptop to pick out what he wanted to give through the Heifer Project this year. He gave it some serious thought and made a choice. And then yesterday he got a thank-you letter, along with a photo of a young man and the bushel of eggs that came out of the chickens M. Edium had sent. Yes, this kid had plenty of eggs to eat where before he would have had to dine on gravel, but even better, he has enough eggs left over to sell and earn money to go to school. We explained to M. Edium how he had tangibly made someone's life better with his gift. I know that made him feel good.

Dragging a 6-year-old to the store to shop for his nine hundred friends and cousins under ten should be a trial, as a result of his whining, "Can I get this?" or "Can I get this?" Instead, it's always "Deniece would like this" or "We should get this for Denephew." Then he asks if he can get something for himself. Maybe.

As the season-end Amazon offers have poured into everyone's inboxes, Trash has been jumping on them, in anticipation of flooding the Toys for Tots donation barrels when they reopen next year (and flooding our basement storage space in the meantime, I might add if I were feeling ungenerous). M. Edium has shown no interest in commandeering these for himself.

The karmic payoff has already begun. Some readers have kindly sent gifts to "M. Tiny" through Amazon (I know; if I can't change the name on the account, neither can you). We've been rewarding his behavior where we can as the season wears on. And when he comes downstairs on Christmas morning, whoa Nelly.

So yes, we have taught him the importance of generosity. Next year I think we'll start teaching him the importance of generosity as it relates to his own money. Another year of this lesson might break us otherwise.

posted by M. Giant 5:09 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Good for him, and good for you guys. You are raising him right.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 21, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

We began to involve the kids in the family in Heifer International when they were bitty little things. They, too, received pictures and letters that helped them understand exactly how much one little - usually powerless - kid could make a difference. I'd like to believe it's the reason that as teenagers now, they are all very involved in activities that help others.
Makes us feel like we did at least one thing right with them, too.
Good on you!
Merry Christmas to the three of you.

By Anonymous Tempest, at December 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

I really admire the way you are raising him to be so selfless. Also, this: http://www.xylocopa.com/product/mad-science-alphabet-blocks reminded me of you guys for some reason.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM  

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