The Giving Tree

Giving Tree

And so the season has begun…Black Friday, Cyber Monday, toy commercials everywhere and tons of toy catalogs stuffed in the mailbox. Little eyes become WIDE at the possibilities and Christmas lists are written a mile long. How about we start a new sort of list and make it about how much one can give, not about how much one can get?

I was awakened in the middle of the night last Monday with images of little gingerbread people dancing though my head and finding a home on a tree. Since I was, obviously, asleep, it didn’t make much sense until I started to wake up and watch the project take shape in my head. The concept is this: each day Mina and I (and whoever wishes to join us) will aware of being more generous and giving to others. At the end of the day, we will write one thing we did for someone else in a giving, thoughtful, generous way on a cut out gingerbread girl and hang it on our mini Christmas tree. We will continue to do at least one kind thing every day until Christmas and see how much we can give and not be so preoccupied on how much we can get.

Why is it that people give more at Christmas time? A generous spirit is cultivated from an early age and carried through each day, all year long. Giving does not always have a monetary value attached to it. Children can learn to be generous and give of themselves in small simple ways. It makes them feel good inside that they were able to make a difference, in a little way, for someone else. This builds self esteem and confidence. Once they know they can achieve small things, they can stretch themselves to tackle bigger things. We, as adults, put limits on what we believe children are capable of. This in turns limits their confidence in their own abilities. We (adults) are “more experienced” and more “realistic” in achieving results. Maybe it isn’t the result that isn’t important, but learning from the process. Because children are so creative and imaginative, they think more outside of the box than us, “experienced” adults. Maybe their idea will work, maybe not, but at least they tried and can enjoy success or learn from a mistake or supposed “failure”. Some of the best lessons come from NOT achieving an intended result. Maybe I am a crazy mom, but I don’t want my kid to always succeed. I want her to fail and learn.

Giving from the Self is one of the best gifts one can give because it comes from the heart. Please join us on our Giving Tree Project.  I will be posting daily Mina’s giving on my facebook page. Post you and/or your kids daily giving each day and I will save it. I am hoping that at the end of the 25 days there are so many posts that we can take all the giving and make a little book to show everyone just how much love and thoughtfulness a child with a purpose can do!

If you choose to have your own Giving Tree, this is what we did:

1 Mini Tree from Whole Foods

Trace Ginger bread girl/boy cookie cutter out of paper grocery bags, punch hole, string with yarn

Number each day (1-25) and write what was thoughtful act of giving for the day.

Post picture or write giving act on Mostly Happy Journey facebook page

Happy Holidays and may your stockings be filled with Love~Gingerbread girls shapes


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