Friday, November 30, 2007

Charitable Shopping

Yesterday I finished my shopping for our "adoptive" family. Every year for the past 4 years, we adopt a family in our town who has fallen on hard times. They sometimes are single moms, or families out of work, etc. The program is through the town's Community Services Council. Everyone in the family gets to make a wishlist and I buy all the things on their list (and extra stuff too).

This is the shopping I enjoy the most. More than for myself! I think about what it is like for them and get them things that they need but I love to get things that are just for fun too. Every year we have received a thank you card and it brings tears to my eyes. It is all anonymous, so they send the card to the CSC who forwards it to us.

Sometimes the list they make is so modest, this year for a little boy (age 6) he asked for a winter coat, gloves, new shoes, etc. Of course I bought a bunch of toys for him as well! The mom asked for a toaster, a suit for interviews, and several other kitchen items. I got her a suit at Ann Taylor. (They give sizes on the list)But I also got her a gift card at two clothing stores here in town. I also got a gift card for a day spa, I hope she enjoys that! The father (bless his heart) put on his list "nothing for me, just for my wife and kids" That just made me sob! I had a hard time getting things for him, I have a hard enough time buying for Mr.F! I bought some clothes, gift cards to Borders, Bobs, Kmart, grocery store, and the gas station but I wanted to get something fun too. Mr.F suggested an Ipod but what if they don't have a computer? I called CSC to see if they knew anything more about him so I could get something else and they said that he likes to fish. So I treked up to the newly opened Cabela's store and asked them for a top of the line fishing pole and some accessories. I think this will really be perfect. Can you tell I get really excited about this?

I do most of the shopping but we all get together as a family to wrap everything. While we do we talk about how important it is to help out and the real spirit of the season. I think this has really made an impact on E. Last spring as I was signing her up for a camp (it is a gardening camp) at a historical house in town and it is a bit pricey but it is the best camp she has ever been too. Anyway she suggested we donate a week at the camp for someone. I called CSC and they got in touch with someone who had a little girl and she got to go to this fantastic camp! And it was all E's idea. I was really proud.

It is so amazing how life turns out sometimes. It was only 7 years ago that I was the single mom and someone did this for me. Thats one of the reasons I do this now because I can remember...here come the tears...going to pick up the items and being so blown away that someone did that for me and my daughter. And on that Christmas morning I truly, truly believed in Santa again. I felt like I was a little girl again and the spirit and magic of Christmas of that morning has stayed with me and will forever.

I think this is a gift not only to the family but for us as well, we get so much enjoyment out of doing this. I also know of some families who adopt a family instead of exchanging gifts with each other (except for the children) That way each family picks one member of the adoptive family to shop for. I recommend if anyone is in the position to do this and if you have a similar program in your town, try it out. You will certainly believe in the magic of Christmas again.

13 comments:

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

So nice. My family did this when growing up. Now, I do adopt a child through a local charity. Such a nice thing to do and I find it so fun!

TCP said...

That is such a heart-warming post! I remember doing something similar when I was a little girl, and now I'm thinking that I need to go looking for a way to do the same in my area. :)

The Mrs. said...

Such a great idea. I just let people at my church know about it for my area!!

magnolia mama said...

What a great post! We adopted a 4-1/2 year old boy through our church. I'm hoping my 4-year-old boy will learn something from this.

Play Day Designs said...

You made me cry! We've got a little girl to buy for this year from the Salvation Army. She just asked for a doll house. But you've inspired me to raise the bar and give her a special Christmas too.

The 5 Bickies said...

Pass me the kleenex...what a wonderful post and a good reminder. We did something similiar several years ago through scouts. We haven't heard anything about it this year and I will have to follow up.

I love how you raised the bar and thought up gifts and ideas that might be beyond their expectations.

I think you've already had a merry christmas! I am so happy for you that your circumstances changed and that you are so generous with another family. A terrific family activity!!

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

Stuff like this is what makes you realize the true meaning of Christmas. What a heart-warming post. Our church does something similar and I always love picking out the things that the individual requests. You have really given this family a special Christmas they will always remember!

Karen said...

This is the first time I've stopped by your blog, but I had to comment on your touching post. How wonderful that your family does this each year. That is so great that you now are able to help other families. The company I work for sponsors a few families in our local community, it is always so much fun to shop for them.

Happy Holidays!

Karen

suburban prep said...

My family does the same thing with our church. There is a sharing parish and we adopt a family.

Impoverished Preppy said...

Wow. We choose a child from the Salvation Army Angel Tree each year, and enjoy shopping for him or her... but it sounds like you really go all out. I think it's wonderful that you have put so much time and thought into the things you chose.

I've stopped by your blog a few times and enjoyed reading what you have to say, these last few posts were especially touching. Sounds like you are a very strong woman who has been truly blessed.

The Mrs. said...

I tagged you on my site today!

Mrs. Charming said...

Thanks for your kind words...it really is my favorite shopping and it means a lot to me..and I have seen how much it means now to E as well.

Happy Homemaker said...

Happy tears! I love that you do this, I love that the father wrote that he didn't need anything, and I love that he and his girls are getting some surprises that will make them feel special at this very special time of year. I think you and I agree that one key to happiness is giving to others... and hopefully our kids will also!