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Toys and donation box

Enjoying the Bliss, Teaching to Bless

It’s the end of the year and with twinkling lights, special sweets and long toy-filled lists, there is no shortage of excitement.

The holidays provide a unique opportunity to experience magic and wonder, don’t they? There’s a natural wane in excitement as you outgrow childhood and Santa’s lap, but the first Christmas as a parent – BAM – the bliss is back. Presents? Christmas parties? Cookies? Ornaments? Red taffeta dresses and matching sweater vests? Yes, yes, yes and YES.

But not everyone spends the holidays carefree and celebrating. I’m the first to acknowledge this fact. I know what it’s like when the big guy in the red suit pays a visit to your house when your child is getting hospice care. I know what it’s like to make glitter arts and crafts in the playroom on the 8th floor of the hospital when you want to be home for the holidays. And, I know what’s it’s like to hang a stocking on the outside an incubator on Christmas Eve. It’s heart-wrenching.

I’ve learned that enjoying health and happiness over the holidays is better than anything that comes in a gift bag. That’s a lesson I’m teaching my kids this year: we can enjoy all the bliss December brings, but let’s not forget to bless others in the process.

What does that look like for us?

  • We had a huge toy purge over the past month, donating everything to charity, in the hope that another child will enjoy the items we’ve enjoyed.
  • We cleaned out our closets and donated our gently used, outgrown clothes to a church’s clothes closet. Warm clothes and coats are especially useful this time of year.
  • Leaving the YMCA last week, Jackson and Abby were drawn to the children’s names hanging on the Christmas tree by the front door. I explained the premise behind “angel trees” and it surprised me how studiously they chose a child’s name. Jackson’s already reminded me we need to turn our gifts in soon!

Teaching your children to give back today turns into social responsibility in the future. What if one day Jackson runs a nonprofit for kids with cancer? What if Abby creates a program that raises money for preemies because of the lessons she’s learning now? What if Henry actually doesn’t cry next year when we donate his old baby toys?

What are ways you can teach your child to bless others this holiday season? Share below!

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About Jessica Woolwine

About Jessica   Woolwine Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.