Blessed are the Generous

A little boy learns to be generous by willingly giving his Christmas money to tsunami relief.

By Caryl Krueger

Categories: Abundance, Golden Rule, Loving and Forgiving

Years in an orphanage in China meant that Christopher had no possessions he could call his own - no toys, no clothing. So, when he was adopted into our daughter's family, he was showered with gifts, and new clothes - and eventually an allowance. As he progressed through the years, he really enjoyed having a little money to buy things - often not the wisest purchases - but spending was a source of fun for him. He dutifully set aside a portion of his allowance for his church contribution and his savings account, but the remainder was usually spent quickly. (And that in itself is a valuable lesson in self-control and responsibility.)

Christopher's family spent Christmas with us this year and all three children had a joyful time with their new toys and other gifts. However, when we decided to go to the after-Christmas sales, I knew that they didn't have spending money. So, in their Christmas night books (a family tradition of a new book hidden under their bed pillows), my husband tucked a crisp dollar bill for each year of their various ages. Seven-year-old Christopher was thrilled to have $7 to spend, but after the shopping expedition, he told me that the mall near his Seattle home was a much better place to spend and he'd do so in the new year. They were back home in time for New Year's Eve and were invited to a large party designed for several families. With the tsunami on everyone's mind, the children decided to raise $100 at the party as a gift to the children who had lost so much. Led by the oldest sibling, Claire, they worked together to make two gift baskets to bring to the party: one for adults containing books and candy, and another for children with Beanie Babies, other toys, and books. With help from siblings Cameron and Christopher, the baskets were decorated and taken to the party where the three children vigorously sold "chances" for $1 for the kids basket and $2 for the adult basket. Later in the evening the baskets were awarded and the youngsters went home with a jar stuffed with paper money. When the money was laid out and carefully counted, the total was slightly less than the desired goal. But Christopher raced to his room and came back with his $7 - and gave it willingly and happily.....a giant step forward for him. And so, the goal was reached. Later when Christopher called for a chat, he told me that he did it because mothers need food for babies. He said, "If they have rice and water , they will not die!" This example of caring, creativity, and generosity, will always be one of my favorite and sweetest Christmas stories. Yes, "a little child shall lead them."