Thursday, 21 December 2017

What my kids did for Christmas that made me cry

It's only a few days before Christmas.  The excitement is getting to many of us.  On the way home from the last day of school, Jane bursts into tears.  It's not unusual, yesterday she was crying because she wanted it to be Christmas everyday and it couldn't be.  Then she said something that made me choke up.

Through her tears she struggled, "What about the people who don't have any money, like on the TV. What if they don't get a Christmas?"

True she's several decades too late for Live Aid (raise your hands if you know what I'm talking about), but the delicate mind of my four year old daughter felt it just as much as those rock and rollers who first noticed. No, Jane, it's not fair.  Yes, Jane it is awful.

"I know; you can give them money, like you have in your wallet and they can buy things."

And I explained how it's hard for us just to take things to the people she see's on the TV.  That we give to this charity for this and that charity to help with that.  We help out at local charities I'm involved in.   We drop in the food bank basket and so on.  I used to do more.  Before I had kids I spent time abroad working for charities.

"Can I send them a present, the people on the TV who need help?" she asked.

I was taken back to the Blue Peter days of shoe boxes filled with toys and sweets.

"What would you send them?" I asked back.

"How about some of my presents?  Do they like hair clips? What about a car so they can go to school easier?"

"They might not have a school they can go to.  Sometimes people have so little Jane.  They may not have a home, or heat or clean water to drink."

She cried.  What had I done.  So I helped her help.

Child on laptop

When we got home I took my teary eyed daughter to the computer.  She was already worried about children in Syria, so we went to one charity page and bought children winter blankets to keep warm.  We went to another and bought clean water for a child to wash and drink.

When my hubby and I got married we asked for gifts from Send a Cow and I remembered there were things to buy on there too.  So that's where we headed next.  And that's when Anthony made me smile.

Anthony is autistic and has ADHD.  He's smart but he can find it hard to focus on things and often misses out the major point behind an activity.  One year at school the class had been making 'mud huts' but he'd been focusing so much on what to do he didn't know what he was making.  He thought it might be a bird house, but wasn't sure.

He came over when Jane was choosing what to send and said, "You should send them something that will help them get work, either go to work or work for themselves so they can make money or look after their family."

It came out in a big sentence but contained so much.  I've been a bit worried lately about what Anthony understands.  Last week I wrote a post about how I might get him to understand about money. Sad that s drives so much of society.  But it appears he's got some ideas already.

So we looked and Jane decided she wanted to get 'education for a child' and Anthony chose a 'vet kit'.

Then one last act that finally brought a tear to my eye.  I know, my kids get even better.

I was just about to close the laptop when Jane declared, "What about David?  He should choose one."

David is our six year old pre-verbal autistic son.  He was sitting at the other end of the lounge playing on his iPad immersed in his own world.  He would not understand this.  But Jane said it didn't matter. She knew he could be included.   We went over to David and showed him the laptop screen.  He didn't yell that we came over.  He didn't push us out the way.  He looked as I presented him with the screen and pointed to the farm tools.  So we bought them too.

I felt overwhelmed and wiped a tear from my eye.  My four year old daughter cares so much (she'd make a great leader), Anthony tried to very practical and help too, and David participated.

So, in amongst the usual presents for our wider family this year  (here's a spoiler) there will be some gifts not for you but for others.  Look at them with love.  And smile, for this is the story behind their purchase.  The story of my fab kids doing their best for Christmas.  I wish I was more like them and I will endeavour to be so.  After all, life is the journey.

Any ideas I could pass to Jane about how she can help others at Christmas time?


  1. So lovley. have a merry Christmas. #brilliantblogposts

  2. We ask the children at school to pick from the list of presents on Oxfams website. They start from as little as 5 pounds. 'Pile of poo' is always popular...!

  3. Love this, a great example for us all xx

  4. A truly beautiful family. Merry Christmas to you

  5. This brought a tear to my eye. What wonderful kids you have, and thanks to you. We have given to charity in lieu of cards and some presents, so important to think of others. Thanks for sharing this x

  6. This is so lovely and has moved me to tears. Your kids are very bright and has a big heart. So very thoughtful of them. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and may you have a Wonderful New Year too! Su xx


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What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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