Donations - Courtesy of

Like many people, we have our Christmas traditions. When and where we do Santa pictures, getting together with family, milk and cookies for Santa that came from Bill Rhodes Bakery, where my wife works. I’m sure you get the idea and can think of plenty of your own. We wanted to make sure that we really instilled in our boys a sense of what Christmas should really be about, so last year we started the Christmas Closet Cleanout. We encouraged them to make room for new toys and things by selecting some of their existing toys to donate to charity. We don’t donate anything broken or worn out. Those items get tossed as necessary throughout the year. They make the choices and they know that the toys are going away to be given to a child that might not otherwise have much of anything at all. So far, it seems to be working well.

I decided to take Neal with me this year to deliver the clothes and toys to The Quinn House in Lawrenceville, GA. (If you find yourself in a position to donate, please give them consideration as they do a great job in the community.) As we pulled into the driveway, turned the truck around and parked at the steps to the house, Neal saw the people organizing other clothes and toys and such and asked about their activity. I told him they were helping get things organized so that they could be given to the people that needed them. We walked inside to get our receipt and a lady that worked there asked Neal about his Christmas, told him about Santa coming down their chimney, and thanked him for “sharing” his toys. Neal, polite as usual, said, “You’re welcome.”

I don’t know if he fully gets it, yet, but I hope that as he and his brother, Eli, grow, and we continue to do this, that they naturally develop a spirit and attitude of giving and helping others. Steph and I recently saw The Blind Side and also felt challenged to do more to help and make a difference to those around us. We’re praying for opportunity and for guidance for the coming year so that we might have a positive impact on those we come in contact with. What are you doing to make a difference? Any Christmas traditions that you’re passing on to your children?

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