Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wants and Needs

Although it’s certainly more tradition than mandate, we give our children a gift each night during Hanukah. I’m a good Jewish mom, so some of the gifts are pretty practical, like a shirt or a book or other things that don’t cost an arm and a leg and aren’t found in the latest Toys ‘R Us catalog.

But each kid usually has a night or two of really awesome things they want.
Several years ago, I started a family tradition to remind them that everyone is not so lucky. We choose one night of the eight-day season where the children don’t receive a gift. Instead, we choose other children to receive something they want or need. Usually it’s at a local mall or something, where we select children from a “giving tree” that are close to the boys’ ages, and go buy them the requested gift.

This year, there is a giving tree in our company cafeteria. Out of curiosity, I checked out the requests, thinking I would bring the boys by to select someone. There were a few that didn’t surprise me. Cheri wanted the Hannah Montana video game. Jose wanted a remote control racecar.

Then I saw Joanna’s request. She’s 10 – she just wanted a jacket.

I started to tear up. Remembering why we have this tradition. What kid wants a jacket for the holidays?

A kid for whom something as simple as a jacket – as simple as warmth – is not a given.

May my children someday realize they are lucky enough that a jacket does not need to be high on their list of “needs”, much less “wants” . . . and may we all remember as the holidays approach that there is more than one Joanna out there who “wants” what the rest of us consider a basic necessity.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

4 comments:

pokerpeaker said...

It was probably a pink leather jacket with Hannah Montana stitched in diamonds - you forgot to read the fine print.

BamBam said...

VERY.WELL.SAID!

PrinceofHouston said...

My wife and I always try to give something back in respect for the blessing we have enjoyed. This year is a little tougher, and what we give will be more simple than what we would give in years past and "knock on wood" years to come.
We feel blessed, but all of our major items we have, house, cars, furniture, came with a heavy price.
If we can bring some happiness and peace of mind to someone this holiday season, we will do so.

Falstaff said...

Thanks for the reminder.