On Meaningful Giving

Have you all heard the recent literature on how gratitude is inextricably linked to positive changes in the brain and body? It makes sense that being thankful can have a direct effect on health.

Some days it feels like the sibling bickering ensues before we are all fully awake, and some days I can’t wait to have a motherhood-redo the next day.  But nearly every day we make time to combat the not so good with a simple gratitude practice.  Talking about what we are grateful for lifts us all up – and we tend to think that giving is a meaningful part of being thankful.

We’ll soon be rolling out our big Holiday gift guides, and I too couldn’t resist getting a great deal online yesterday – but there is something unsettling about the shift from Thanksgiving to consumerism at its best. Even my Kindergartner asked “Mommy, what does Black Friday mean?”

We recently learned about a foster care and family service agency in Queens NYC that is crunched for time to make Holiday wishes for 1,000 foster children come true.  There is something about that number that stuck with me. One thousand kids in foster care pinning for a specific gift this season.  If we all visit this Toys”R”Us wishlist, together we can make holiday dreams come true.

The kids decided to send registry gifts that they would want themselves. And I selected a little V-Tech cruiser that both of my own littles loved in toddlerhood. In addition to gifts, the agency welcomes cards too.

I think that all kids have an innate desire to help other children.

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With spilled paint on the floor and paper scraps beneath furniture, the kids made the best sort of mess that truly feels like gratitude in our home.



  1. Love this activity and how the kids got so involved in making and participating in something that is truly something special. We donate to the local toy drive and I hope my boys take away the concept of how lucky we are. Wishing you and your family all the best for a wonderful holiday!

  2. Oh this is awesome. We always donate to the food bank and the toy drive, in fact Brooke looks forward to it every year

  3. ellen beck says

    To learn to give with ones heart freely is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Not only are you helping others, you are helping yourself especially during the Holiday season. It is very commercial and in particular starting so early.
    I like how you have your kids involved it is a good lesson and one they will carry with them.

    • Thanks Ellen. This feels like such a small gesture. There is so much need everywhere. I hope that the kids will find continual giving in ways that we can a normal part of life. I appreciate you visiting and commenting. 🙂

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