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Dear Santa: I’d like a goat and water pills (said my children, never)

ImageI see the stories about families giving goats as gifts, or tweens using their birthday money to shop for toys to donate to the needy and my heart just melts! I hope that my own children will one day develop this sense of community and the joy that comes with giving. Like many parents, my moral thermometer struggles with the notion that we’re creating consuming-critters instead of charitable-children, but even so, I’m still not ready make the full leap from giving our children toys for Christmas to donating Tetanus shots on their behalf.

I’m hoping that by incorporating charitable giving into our family Christmas traditions, though, our children will one day choose to give back to the global community on their own accord. We’ve had the opportunity to donate dry goods to the food bank at three different events so far this holiday season and have had many conversations about the fact that some people celebrate the holidays differently and that all families have different budgets. Our mantra “different families, different rules” seems to satisfy their Santa questions, for now!

I did all of my gift shopping online this year (for the first time … it rocked!) and the kids will be playing with Lego and Monster High dolls on Christmas morning. But in our attempt to foster a sense of community and charity, we chose Unicef Survival Gifts for their teachers and I have no doubt that their teachers will make a big deal of thanking them for donating on their behalf – furthering our quest. The gift cards from Unicef arrived in the mail today and outline exactly what was included in the online gift with lots of space for the kids to doodle and write their own message.

She’ll LOVE it, Mom!

We had fun choosing our teachers gifts from the Survival Gifts website. Five year old Freddy wanted to go “big” and thought 750 pencils fit the bill. Our daughter’s grade 2 teacher had shared with the class that it’s her dream to one day help build schools in another country so Juliette chose the Literacy Pack with 14 exercise books, 6 storybooks, and 38 pencils.  “She’ll LOVE it, Mom!”

Music to my ears. Maybe we’ll be that goat family, one day!

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I first became acquainted with the Unicef Survival Gifts program at the Blissdom Canada Conference in Toronto this past October. Unicef was an event sponsor and their representatives spent time with bloggers and social media experts to outline the work that they’re doing around the world. Like many of my fellow conference delegates and bloggy peeps (!) I’ve felt compelled to pass on the word about this program: neither this blog post, nor my Hallowe’en post about What Happened to the Unicef Coin Boxes were commissioned by Unicef nor have I received compensation. (Other than warm fuzzies, of course!)