A Family Tradition

One of our family traditions during Christmas is adopting angels from the Salvation Army angel tree. The kids’ school has one, so they select their angel there. I love that the kids drop the gifts back off at school and that the school hosts a Celebration of Giving service led by the school’s chaplain. There are so many things I love about that.

angel tree 2

When I grew up, my parents adopted families at Christmas and we always got excited wrapping gifts for people who otherwise wouldn’t have any on Christmas morning. It’s a tradition I wanted to continue with my own family.

It’s a very real opportunity to appreciate how fortunate we are and how easy it is to bring a smile or a little bit of joy to someone else.

My only rule when we go shopping for our angels is that the focus of that shopping trip is solely the angels. We don’t allow the kids to leave the store with anything for themselves. Because I don’t want the focus on others to be diluted.

This year Stephen and I took the kids to Target to get the things their angels needed, their wish item and a something else. I know I said I was going to shop small business, but I don’t know who the recipients of these gifts are or where they live. If I shopped a very local business, it’s quite possible the recipient’s parents could not get to that store for an exchange or return if something didn’t fit or didn’t work. There are a gazillion Targets throughout the DFW metroplex and I felt better about the return and location options for the recipients’ families.

The Girl’s angel is a 14 year old girl who needed boots and wanted a watch. We got both and some undergarments. (I didn’t grab those in the picture, because modesty.) The Boy’s angel is an 8 year old boy who needed a coat and wanted a handheld game. We got a coat, pants, Leapster and a game to go with it.

I hope this tradition is something the kids choose to continue with their families.

What are some of your family holiday traditions?

4 Responses to A Family Tradition

  1. I just returned from getting a couple angels off our local Angel tree???started shopping and will finish this weekend when I get to a bigger selection. This gift is so much for me…they get the gifts, but I get the joy!

  2. Hello Kandice, My bank has a very similar tradition. The gifts are given to local children who otherwise would have little. You pick a mitten from the Christmas tree. On the mitten is a child’s name, age, sex, clothing sizes; a gift suggestion. I just finished shopping for my “mitten” – an 11-year old boy. I LOVE doing this every year.

  3. I love this — what a wonderful way to instill giving in your children. Our tradition is packing Operation Christmas Child boxes. We’ve also adopted the one gift tradition – started this four years ago and have never looked back. Hal and I get the kids one thing they would really like for Christmas. Between grandparents and aunts and uncles they wind up getting more than they need anyway – so it’s worked out VERY well.

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