I just read that experts are predicting a spike in holiday shopping this year. Moms and dads who feel like their kids have had to deal with a lot of heavy news or have been cheated out of some form of fun are going to try to make up for it with gifts under the tree. “2020 was a bust, but at least we can have a blowout Christmas!”
Believe me, I want to have an exciting Christmas morning with lots of presents under the tree, but one thing we’ve learned from all the chaos of 2020 is that “stuff” isn’t really what we crave as human beings. So this Christmas, give your kids the one thing we all really desired over the past 10 months.
What we all needed was hope.
We all want COVID-19 just to go away and for our kids to have their childhood back. And we all want systemic racism to end. We all want the arguing online about (fill in the blank) to stop. But hope is more than just wishing for something to be different or better. Hope is a clarity of vision. It implies that “something better” is possible and there are ways to get there. These 10 months we’ve needed a vision for ourselves and our kids that tomorrow will be better than today.
But we looked for hope in the wrong places. Oops!
Every time I turned on the news, I felt even more restless and uneasy. It didn’t give me hope. For about two weeks, we all felt a momentary sigh of relief as we indulged in another person’s crazy life and misfortune in the form of Tiger King. Although it gave us some memes that will go down in history, it didn’t provide much hope, unless you’re a big cat, maybe. Then interest rates dropped. People bought and sold houses and refinanced. I love a lower mortgage payment as much as the next homeowner, but it’s fleeting. When it came to teaching kids about hope, many of us were leaning on what not to do.
But there were glimmers of hope.
When I stop and think about the moments that I had a vision for something better, or real hope, there is a common thread running through them all—people helping people. John Krasinski’s YouTube channel, Some Good News. My friend bringing dinner over when eLearning and working full time became more than I could handle. Discussion groups being created to learn how to teach kids about racism. Hope isn’t created by watching other people talk about a crisis or distracting ourselves from it. Hope exists when we put our hands in and work to make life better.
Here’s a small way you can be hope.
When we give our children an opportunity to affect the life of another person, they become empowered instead of a victim to their circumstances, and that gives them hope. iMOM has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to give our children a means to share hope with other kids their age with Operation Christmas Child. Now more than ever, children around the world need hope, and what better way to share hope than through a simple shoebox gift.
Just head to the Operation Christmas Child page and check out the instructions on how to pack a shoebox gift filled with hope for a child in a country affected by war, famine, or poverty. If you’re not keen on venturing out to the stores, you can build a shoebox gift online from the comfort of your couch! Or, you and the kids can head to the dollar store to shop, grab a shoebox from the closet shelf, write a note or draw a picture, and know that you’re teaching kids about hope and spreading it, too. We all need it this year.
How do you and your family focus on hope and help spread it?