Teach the Art of Anonymous Giving to your Children

I’m not sure what gave me the idea, but a few years ago I decided the children and I would make pies for the neighbors at Christmas. But they would not be gifts from us – they would be anonymous gifts to raise the spirits of those around us. I wanted my children to remember that Christmas is not about what they get – it is about what they can give. And to give anonymously is the best way to do it!

Every year on Christmas Eve, we prepare for our special secret mission. The refrigerator pies have been made and we are all dressed in dark clothes. Each child picks a house and off they go. I watch with the lights off from the window and am usually shaking with laughter by the end of the mission.

Our neighbor across the street is particularly difficult to get to. They have people on the porch almost all night, so sneaking a pie on the front porch is next to impossible. But last year my middle child rose to the challenge. It took him thirty minutes to sneak along the side of the house, up over the side of the porch and then slide on his belly toward the front door. My other kids and I were in tears watching him. It was a moment I will remember forever.

Every Christmas day, we beat our neighbors to the punch asking, “Did you get a pie too?” As far as we know, our secret remains a secret. My children have learned that it is more fun to give anonymously than to get credit for it – and that sneaking around on Christmas Eve is pretty fun too!

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