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My son’s teachers asked for a special gift this year for the holidays.

Rather than sending teacher appreciation gifts–they requested donations so that their classes could provide holiday cheer to a family in need.

Yesterday, we met up with other fifth graders and shopped for the two children on our list. It was such joy to see the class working together and the excitement in choosing clothes, toiletries, and toys for another.  The kids tested out gloves and hats for warmth…began to think strategically for size: going up so that the children could wear an item longer.

Girls and boys weighed in on what they would be excited to receive. They actually cheered when they found the perfect toy to match the child’s wish list. Not once during the shopping did I hear a child tell their parents that they wanted something in the toy aisle. The entire group was experiencing the pleasure of giving.

I have said before that I admire our teachers. In addition to class work, these incredible men and women are spending their own time teaching our kids the spirit of friendship and community. They are helping to shape great little humans.

I am grateful for these life lessons–it is better to give than to receive…and kindness is it’s own reward.