The holidays are over and we are bummed. It was such a whirlwind couple of months for us with family, friends, overseas guests, moves, the kids being home and so much more. Between all of the chaos we call life, we are constantly trying to teach our kids life lessons, learn new things ourselves from everyday life and just make sure we are all living healthy, happy and humble lives. This year, we took on a new adventure during the already busy holiday season that just didn’t pan out like we thought. We are now looking to our readers for their advice and thoughts on how we can better prepare for next year.
Every holiday season we all get together at our parents’ house, exchange gifts, and share some amazing memories together. This year was no different. We had an amazing Christmas Eve dinner with the most incredible friends and the next morning we all opened our Christmas gifts together. Watching the kids rip through their wrapping paper and light up when they saw their new toys was so joyful to watch and experience for us parents as well as their grandparents.
A few days after Christmas, we all noticed that the excitement of the new toys wore off very quickly and the kids were already making demands for new toys and gadgets that they wanted. It made us realize that they needed to get somewhat of a reality check on appreciating all that they have and giving to others who don’t have as much. The boys were fortunate enough to go to India last year and they saw first hand the misfortunes of people around the world and it’s sort of stuck with them, but they’re at the age where these things are out of sight out of mind. Nina tries to instill these values in the girls as well, but again, to them it’s a far concept that doesn’t really hit home. Diav and Kallan are of course still too young to appreciate these life lessons so Dipti tries to start them early by explaining to Diav that contrary to what he thinks, he does not “need” this new toy, he “wants” it (insert tantrum).
This year we decided that we wanted the kids to experience something closer to home and see that not everyone who lives close to them lives like them. We decided that we were going to start a new holiday tradition where we have the kids give to those less fortunate. We sought out to find a charity where we could have the kids meet other kids like them and even give them a Christmas present that they picked out themselves. We thought it would instill consideration and empathy that they may not feel when things are just talked about.
Unfortunately, the process of finding the charity turned out to be the hard part! Our friends host amazing charitable events where the kids can shop for and drop off gifts to a location and the host then donates those gifts onward. There were many other drop off locations, such as hospitals, the salvation army, and local fire departments. Because we wanted the kids to be able to talk to other less fortunate kids, we started our search by reaching out to orphanages and hospitals. Both places said they only had drop offs and we were not able to meet the kids. We then expanded our search to local charities, Adopt a family, and homeless shelters. After lots of research and endless phone calls and road blocks, we finally found a local women and children’s shelter that could arrange us all to come and spend time with the families and give them some gifts and goodies. Due to the fact that we only found them a week before Christmas, our schedules didn’t match up and we weren’t able to go during the holidays. We are going at a later date because the ideas and lessons have not changed, but the whole process threw us off totally. We couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a place where we could meet kids and talk to them and share stories. We didn’t know if maybe we were just looking in the wrong spots or if there really just isn’t a way to do this.